Unfortunatly I couldn't make it to the opening of artist Mark DeMaio's satirical and controversial take on religious iconography titled Pop Goes The Bible at Synchronicity Fine Arts, but to my good fortune I got to meet up with the artist himself a few days later for a private tour of the work. It's not often I get to drink wine with an artist in an empty gallery. Being that we both are painting in line art styles we talked a lot about technique and the learning curve that comes with painting slick lines on canvas.
The Crucifixion of Dali Duck-Duckis Hypercubis 2011
Mark is normally a painterly artist so having to incorporate line art into these pieces was a challenge. It took him about a year from sketching to a finished show. He told me about the respect he now has for cartoonists and animators. "If one line is off in these iconic characters, they just don't look right."
The Judas Kiss 2011
The last show Mark did was very flat, so going into this he knew he wanted to work with the illusion of depth. With this show the backgrounds are reminicent of religious renaissance era realism, while the cartoon characters in the foreground representing characters in the Bible, are flat colored and don't cast a shadow.
Mark mentioned he wanted them to be two dimensional, just like how the characters are in the Bible. Almost like they were placed on top the religious backgrounds like old school vinyl colorforms.
David With The Head Of Goliath 2011
The characters were specifically chosen based on their peronality to represent the different characters in the Bible.
Minnie Magdalene The Repentant 2011
Some came easy like Virgin Olive Oyl as The Virgin Mary, and Tasmanian Devil representing the Devil.
LEFT: The Nativity 2011 RIGHT: Moses Delivers
It gets tricker when you have to imagine which character would represent Moses, Foghorn Leghorn of course.
Expulsion of the Money Chargers 2011
If You Really Are The Son Of Man 2011
The Good Shepherd & The Lambs Of God 2011
The Crucifixion Of St. Peter 2011
Head For Salome 2011
It was really cool to be able to see the line art sketches he has also framed and in the show. You could see how he had to draw and redraw these pieces to get them to look right.
Another interesting thing he learned by researching these old school animation frames is that the various studios had consistant colors and ways of drawing. Most of the studios used red, yellow, and blue as their primary colors.
Hands and lower bodies for a lot of characters under the same production company were re-purposed. The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, and Ranger Rick for example are all basically the same bodies. Boo-Boo Bear is essentially Barney Rubble.
God And Adam 2011
The hands of all the Warner Bros. characters glove or no glove are pretty much the same, and the colors are too. The brown of Foghorn Leghorn's feathers is the same brown as the Tasmanian Devil or Wile E. Coyote's fur.
Early Disney is even worse, Minnie Mouse is just Mickey Mouse with. . .
The Caning Of Able 2011
Outside the gallery looking in I noticed Mario caning Luigi. They are the only two sort of current characters in the show. I asked Mark why he chose them to represent Cain and Able. He couldn't think of any characters from the old school Warner Bros., Disney, or Hanna Barbera cartoons who were brothers. Come to think of it, neither can I.
ART SUCKS ARCHIVES
DECEMBER 2011 - BY MONTH & YEAR:
SEARCH ART SUCKS BY KEYWORD(S)