In comedy, there’s a theory that a comedian should always be “punching up.” In short, that means that comedy is funny when you’re taking on subjects that are higher in the hierarchy than you are, and that you risk coming off like a bully or worse when you make fun of those who are lower in the social hierarchy than you are.
I love reading David Apatoff’s “Illustration Art” blog for a lot of reasons – he’s got great taste, shines a light on amazing artists who aren’t necessarily in favor right now, and writes insightfully about illustration art. So, take five minutes and read “An Artist’s Attic, part 3” right now.
There are great working young artists right now, and there are also ones who appear to draw only during seizures. I wouldn’t have used any of those contemporary examples as examples of anything, other than of books I probably would leave on the bookshelf at the bookstore that I found it at. This is what punching down looks like in art writing – taking someone’s unique, indisputable skill and juxtaposing it against people who barely qualify as visual artists. You can make anyone and anything look badly through that technique, but it doesn’t really mean anything.
But also, feel free to take another five minutes to really go over those Leonard Starr faces, they are stunners.