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Art is defunct!
It withered and dropped dead of malnutrition and gravity. Has anyone noticed that PopRoy in all his comics-sampling glory had as much fun as an adult chuckling at a child's antics? Quite different from Jack Kirby whose plenteous fount of crazed invention poured out of his mind like the child who pretends, and believing his own pretensions, scares himself to screams. Could PopRoy delight in such fun? Answer: never, he is too far removed by his adult sophistication. He was art's last hope to stop taking itself so suffocatingly serious. He let us down.
As fun as Skrauss' work is and as much as he laughs with it, as much as he is aware of the imagination deficiency disorder, common in adults, he is taken aback by the scared women who have accused him of anger and violence. Though, he is also taken aback by the solitary woman who had such great insight into his soul that she must have been from the fourth dimension. The woman's comment was, "It's dark, yet colorful. It's just like life. There's [shite] going on, but it's okay. You've made peace with it." Skrauss does not deny the seasoning of violence, nor would any child who's played cops and robbers and other gun-fight games, but the viewer must admit that Pollok in all its spatter rage is more violent than these meticulously layered fields of color. One of Bacon's screaming vapors or sex wrestlers is more violent then all of Skrauss' cartoon-meat cross-sections put together. What nerve has Skrauss touched? The following:
Life is a merry go round that makes you puke. Life is the stack of bricks you punch in half just because you can. It’s the medical advancements made during wartime. It's the baby conceived in rape. It's the tears that pour at the final words, "Hurrah for Karamazov!" It's winning a wrestling match with an angel, but going away with a permanent limp. Sweet pain. The ugly and the beautiful. "We'll look back on this and laugh." Skrauss is laughing now, amidst it. Pretending pain doesn't exist creates hollow art. Pretending that life is all pain, created the art world, which is equally hollow. Some believe we must protect children from this and have vilified the discourse. Let's discourse.
I have a saga in my head. A funny one, a violent one, mythic in scope, it has a multitude of characters who breed like roaches. It has a multitude of bad endings. It has injustice and shattered innocence and the strong preying on the weak. Observe.
These paintings here are from the series, "The Ride of the Peg Leg Monkey". Usually the PLM does not hold guns. Usually he is a happy dunce bumbling through his life trying to get back to his homeland Olongapo. Here in the series "The Ride of the Peg Leg Monkey" he is administering gun-fire justice. As of 2005 The Peg Leg Monkey is the star of the saga. His timeline has the longest, concretely visible stretches. I think of him and his stories as a continuity comic strip where each story ends, fading into the next. Each ending is a beginning and each goodbye a hello. In this series he touches the lives of Paris VonSquinch of the anti Fay Faction, Criminal Investigations (Not divorce Investigations) L.L.C., and of course his steed, The Green Streak who was a gift from the Pan Handle Padre. "The Ride…" is set between the series: "The Peg Leg Monkey and the Land of the Cowboys" and "The Peg Leg Monkey Runs Amok." He goes too far in the later, with his cowboy justice, and is taken down by an angel. Then begins "The Purgatorio of the Peg Leg Monkey". The Peg Leg Monkey goes everywhere.