Oct 292020
 
Title: Drawing of the day, S. Clay Wilson | Artist: Pieter Zandvliet | Category: Drawing of the day

Steve Clay Wilson (born July 25, 1941), better known as S. Clay Wilson, is an American underground cartoonist and central figure in the underground comix movement. Wilson attracted attention from readers with aggressively violent and sexually explicit panoramas of lowlife denizens, often depicting the wild escapades of pirates and bikers. He was an early contributor to Zap Comix, and Wilson’s artistic audacity has been cited by Robert Crumb as a liberating source of inspiration for Crumb’s own work. Recalling when he first saw Wilson’s work (in about 1968) Crumb said, “The content was something like I’d never seen before, anywhere, the level of mayhem, violence, dismemberment, naked women, loose body parts, huge, obscene sex organs, a nightmare vision of hell-on-earth never so graphically illustrated before in the history of art…. Suddenly my own work seemed insipid…”[1]

A striking feature of Wilson’s work is the contrast between the literate way in which his characters speak and think and the depraved violence in which they engage. As James Danky and Denis Kitchen wrote in their book, Underground Classics, “He astonished and sometimes frightened his fellow cartoonists, though they saw it as pushing if not eviscerating the boundaries of taste. More than anyone, Wilson defined the boundaries of the medium.”[2] The artist and characters sometimes take violence with a playful attitude, for example getting tired of fighting and agreeing to have sex instead of continuing a battle. Wilson’s later work became more ghoulish, featuring zombie pirates and visualizations of the Virgin of Guadalupe as a rotting vampire mother. In many respects, however, his work has remained consistent since his emergence in the 1960s. In contrast to the many countercultural figures who have moderated their more extreme tendencies and successfully assimilated into the mainstream of commercial culture, Wilson’s work has remained troubling to mainstream sensibilities and defiantly ill-mannered.

“He showed us we had been censoring ourselves,” said Zap cohort Victor Moscoso. “He blew the doors off the church. Wilson is one of the major artists of our generation.”[3] Referring to his and the Zap crew’s status in art circles, Wilson himself said, “If you’re not good enough to be a cartoonist, maybe you can be an artist

 October 29, 2020  Posted by at 18:43 Drawing of the day No Responses »
Oct 272020
 
Title: DRawing of the day, Son House | Artist: Pieter Zandvliet | Category: Drawing of the day

Edward James “Son” House Jr. (March 21, 1902[1] – October 19, 1988) was an American delta blues singer and guitarist, noted for his highly emotional style of singing and slide guitar playing.

After years of hostility to secular music, as a preacher and for a few years also working as a church pastor, he turned to blues performance at the age of 25. He quickly developed a unique style by applying the rhythmic drive, vocal power and emotional intensity of his preaching to the newly learned idiom. In a short career interrupted by a spell in Parchman Farm penitentiary, he developed his musicianship to the point that Charley Patton, the foremost blues artist of the Mississippi Delta region, invited him to share engagements and to accompany him to a 1930 recording session for Paramount Records.

Issued at the start of the Great Depression, the records did not sell and did not lead to national recognition. Locally, House remained popular, and in the 1930s, together with Patton’s associate Willie Brown, he was the leading musician of Coahoma County. There he was a formative influence on Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. In 1941 and 1942, House and the members of his band were recorded by Alan Lomax and John W. Work for the Library of Congress and Fisk University. The following year, he left the Delta for Rochester, New York, and gave up music.

In 1964, a group of young record collectors discovered House, whom they knew of from his records issued by Paramount and by the Library of Congress. With their encouragement, he relearned his repertoire and established a career as an entertainer, performing for young, mostly white audiences in coffeehouses, at folk festivals and on concert tours during the American folk music revival, billed as a “folk blues” singer. He recorded several albums, and some informally taped concerts have also been issued as albums. House died in 1988.[3] In 2017, his single, “Preachin’ the Blues” was inducted in to the Blues Hall of Fame

 October 27, 2020  Posted by at 21:09 Drawing of the day No Responses »