Blackpaint 286

Steve Bell and Martin Rowson

Interesting to compare and contrast the differing approaches of these two Guardian cartoonists to the phone hacking scandal.  Bell has homed in on Rupert Murdoch’s obvious fondness for Rebekah Brooks; in his strip, the old man wants Brooks to replace the “Windsor bitch” (or rather, “butch”) as queen, but wants a shag first.  In the next strip she is dead – a comment on her pallor, presumably – which is not a problem for Rupert. as he isn’t averse to necrophilia… the strip alleges.

Rowson is rather easier on her; he portrays her before the upcoming MPs commitee, standing on a stool, like the Cavalier kid in the famous painting, “When did you last see your father?”  She is saying to her inquisitors, “When did your balls grow back?”, or similar words.  This has the effect of drawing the reader to her side, as the persecuted victim, spitting defiance at her hypocritical questioners, standing bravely against tyranny.

The Bell approach is crude, scurrilous and over the top;  I like it for that reason.

Rowson’s idea contains a great truth; these MP’s committees often have a lot of posturing and sanctimony, from MPs who fancy themselves as Rumpoles – bit early to be changing the focus and fostering sympathy for the Murdoch side, though; I think they’re quite capable of looking after themselves and even “blagging” their way through to a result.

Urban Art, Brixton

Spent Saturday and Sunday standing under stair rods of rain or waving away clouds of little gnat – like flies under a chestnut tree in Josephine Avenue, re-arranging pictures every 5 minutes in an attempt to trap customers.  Everyone else there seemed to have some sort of “thing” they did – paintings of kitchen chairs and tables and frying pans, fish prints, graffiti style “street” spray paintings, dog and cat portraits, imitation butterflies in box frames, swimmers at the lido….  Abstract paintings on canvas pretty thin on the ground.  There’s no way you can be sure that your work will sell; should it be bigger, smaller, under glass??  Total lottery.  Lots of visitors though, even in the pouring rain.

Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”

Very PK Dick- like future story, set in Russia; a Stalker takes people to the Zone and guides them around the deserted area hit by a meteorite or a missile or something, and forbidden of course; there, you can confront your inner self, desires, fears, in a room.  You can’t go directly or come back the same way; the Stalker has to throw sheets wrapped around metal nuts.  where these land, that’s the way you go.  Derivative story, fantastic images; Tarkovsky does that thing of switching to colour in the Zone, B & W outside.  Not original; Bertolucci’s “Before the Revolution” has it – but effective, all the same.



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