Title: Author: Type:  

'Sour Puss - The Inky Cartoon Art Of Neale Osborne'
  'Sour Puss - the inky cartoon art of Neale Osborne'

Neale Osborne




Film Stars, Fashion Models, Gryphons and Valkyries …'Sour Puss' is the colorful complementary volume to Neale Osborne's 'Sweet Art' (the retrospective of his black-and-white graphic work) - featuring around a hundred of his best cartoons and caricatures, in a distinctive inky dip-pen style - from actors to rock stars, monarchs to models … along with images from opera and literature - this lively, full-color showcase of his drawings is presented in this generously-sized 8.5" x 11" edition.

(from the introduction)
Not just pretty faces …
Neale Osborne has spent more than twenty years drawing the great and the good, the bad and the ugly, sourpusses, glamour pusses, all the weird and whimsical cavalcade of humankind. This collection brings together the best of his work, from his first published pieces in 1993 (the extravangantly-mustachioed Merv Hughes for Wisden Cricket Monthly; an unkempt Nick Cave prowling the stage, with beer in hand, for the launch issue of Mojo magazine) to recent caricatures for the Lebrecht Picture Library (a devilish Joe Orton toasts a crumpet in hell; Cthulhu tentacles writhe around the shoulders (and mind) of HP Lovecraft; the curves of smoke from Sigmund Freud’s cigar subconsciously twist into a sexual mental picture.)
Also, within these ink-splattered pages one can find a host of larger-than-life characters from stage and screen: Shakespeare’s Falstaff seems almost too portly for the paper on which he’s drawn; Bizet’s operatic temptress Carmen struts barefoot through a dusty, sun-drenched plaza; there’s a gleefully murderous Mister Punch; a tattered Rat King from Tchaikovsky’s ballet. Richard Wagner is depicted as Wotan, king of the gods … but is the composer’s self-assurance being glorified or ridiculed? One might think the latter, when juxtaposed with the accompanying overblown mountain-top Valkyrie … though one is never too sure with Neale - his caricatures rarely cruelly demean. Indeed, many of his subjects are writers and film-makers, singers and composers he has greatly admired: Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, Ted Hughes, Günter Grass (who inspired Neale’s own ‘Lydia’ novels); a grinning Terry Gilliam is a Munchausen-style balloon, flying off on another cinematic fantasy; mezzo-soprano Tatiana Troyanos is cast as a voluptuous Carmen; there’s a cheery Walt Disney; a sultry Julie London; a serious Sibelius stands bold against a darkened forest evoking his brooding magnificent ‘Tapiola’; even the Breughel-esque grotesques of Ligeti’s opera ‘Le Grand Macabre’ are drawn out of a desire to do the exuberant, humorous music justice.

Then there are the pages of fashion models. Defined in a spare, spontaneous pen line, this assortment of bony cartoon beauties pout and preen and pose upon the paper, exuding both sexiness and silliness. Are these gaunt yet elegant women being admired? Is the world of couture itself being satirized? Certainly the series of ‘Schiaparelli’ drawings (inspired by the famous shoe hat design of Salvador Dali) sees Neale take the concept to ludicrous extremes, with models sporting all sorts of footwear on their heads - from high heels and slippers to teetering tophat boots …
And so, a whole gallery of images awaits, a motley collection of pretty faces, sour expressions, serious features, of pompous generals, pensive authors, crazy characters and creepy creatures …

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