& Beauty is his magazine project, originally published in the '90s, styled after a risqué 1920s publication notorious for its nude
photographs of life models. As you might expect, however, Crumb's take is a
little more subversive and misanthropic than that.
Tabloid stars, sports
personalities (most notably Serena Williams, above) and friends of the artist are
drawn by him alongside captions taken from the historical canon – Da Vinci,
Cezanne, Andy Warhol – the idea being to critique both groups by pairing the
'high' with the 'low'. Although clothed, many of Crumb's female subjects are
portrayed in ways that might seem objectifying, the fetishistic proportions of
their bodies reminiscent more of porn than popular social commentary.
'To render and glorify
the life today', reads a slogan on the magazine's front cover by Crumb's friend
and collaborator, the writer Charles Bukowski. Whether Art & Beauty does that is unclear, and some may
take issue with the rendering and, particularly, the glorification of
hyper-sexualised, 'modern' views of women.
|What||R. Crumb: Art & Beauty, David Zwirner|
24 Grafton Street, London, W1S 4EZ | MAP
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
15 Apr 16 – 02 Jun 16, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
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