Art on a Postcard is honoured to be hosting the satirical cartoonist Glen Baxter for our Art on a Ukulele project. At Leeds College of Art in the 1960’s, Glen Baxter started to familiarise himself with Absurdism and Surrealists artists, such as Andre Breton and Max Ernst. In the similar vein to Max Ernst’s in Une Semaine de Bonté, Baxter’s poignant satire transports us into a very different and surreal dimension. However, his use of light-hearted humour and popular fiction is what really makes his interpretation of life and his expression of Absurdism unique and different from that of the heavier French Surrealists.
Because he expresses himself through absurdism, Glen Baxter’s works are irresistibly funny and often very deep. In philosophy “the Absurd” refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life and our inability to find it. His mastering of poetic prose allows Baxter to depict in his cartoons situations that are at once funny and true. In his use of both words and imagery, Baxter derives humour from its nonsensical nature rather than from wit or a punchline.
Poetic in his use of analogies and wordplay Baxter’s images and corresponding captions employ art and language inspired by intellectual jokes and historic or philosophical references, all while maintaining a very playful and childlike nature through his choice of aesthetic; drawings rendered in ink and crayon. An artist of both words and images, Baxter combines these mediums in his work to form an intriguing new world and language of his own. Images are accompanied by captions that make you giggle and these could be interpreted endlessly or have no meaning at all, and that is the beauty of absurdism.
We are excited to see what nonsensical and satirical drawings Glen produces for the Art on a Ukulele challenge. Please join us to find out more by signing up to our mailing list (at the bottom of the page) to receive updates about this project and find out about our crowdfunding campaign, the rewards we are offering and be part of the process over the next few months.
About the writer
Katherine is 22 year old writer based in London. She graduated from the Courtauld Institute of Art and is an advocate for anything made or done by women. If she’s not devouring books and drinking cups of strong black coffee in downward facing dog, she’s fighting the patriarchy through interviewing women artists or giving you her heartfelt feminist opinion. She believes that the key to life is to be constantly interested in the women around you, only when we are mesmerised by the existence of each other can we truly unleash our greatest human potential.