Art: M. Louise Stanley. Design: Jeremy Thornton
Juried by M. Louise Stanley
Deep thoughts by Stonefox
HUMOR IN ART
As a child I had two jokes from Mad Magazine on my wall that both confused and entertained me “all that glitters is not gold said the camel urinating in the moonlight” and “Rome wasn’t built in a day, it just looks that way”. They both are visual puns that question the literal. It is dangerous to make art that is humorous. People may not take you seriously. When humor works it often rides a precarious line between the sublime and the downright silly and is often not funny at all. The humor in my paintings comes about unconsciously… it is always there in some form. Humor is the camouflage for the ‘real’ subject and a catalyst or bridge to the darker, more disquieting side of the story. Major influences have been Jacques Tati, Lucille Ball, George Cruikshank and Marcel Carne’s les Enfants du Paradis.
– M. Louise Stanley
Humor is a funny way of being serious
It can be the shortest distance between two people
Smiles are curved lines that set things straight
If it gets a smile, it’s worthwhile
Smiles can extend our laugh expectancy
A laugh is just a smile that breaks
The best time to laugh is anytime we can
Laughter prevents psychosclerosis – a hardening of the mind
It also helps prevent osteoporosis of the funny bone
A smile increases our face value
It is OK to smile and laugh more than once
So. . . don’t play serious – seriously play!
Many thanks to M. Louise Stanley for her time and selections.
A NOTE FROM THE JUROR
My task was daunting, choose around 79 images out of 425.
I approached the jury process as a teacher, looking for the salient bits first, while forgiving the rest out of a desire to be all inclusive.
But in approaching humor first, I was missing the nuance and ignoring the whole. The humor didn’t come first, it was a result of all the other parts ‘working’. So the dilemma wasn’t just craft versus punchline, but all the poetry that goes into making a piece of art relevant. I looked for work that bothered me and made me question, and that was often a bit anxious. But ultimately it had to be authentic.
Disclaimer: Though I have used humor in my own work for many years, I find I’ve become a bit of a prude and rather thin-skinned when it comes to body parts and feminist issues. I am not taken in by cuteness and over-indulgent surfaces.
M. Louise Stanley 2022
Erma Murphy. Kellan Christopher
Curated by Jeremy Thornton
Thanks to the OHCA Exhibition Committee
and O’Hanlon Center for the Arts!
smithsonian: walter askin oral history interview
Linda Fitz Gibbon
Lindsey Morrison Grant
Earl Grenville Killeen
Maruška aka Ellen Wood
Linda Mucha Karns
Karen Kjell Rothman
Foad Seyed Mohammadi
Lev L Spiro
Richard P Stevens