Saturday, October 9, 2010

American Visionary Art Museum humor exhibit includes work of quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan

From the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore:

The exhibit "What Makes Us Smile?" will run at the American Visionary Museum October 9, 2010 - September 4, 2011.

"What Makes Us Smile?" is the American Visionary Art Museum's 16th year-long exhibition — a playful celebration of human joy that is co-curated by renowned creator of The Simpson's, Matt Groening, artist Gary Panter – known for, among many other things, his whimsy behind Pee Wee Herman's Playhouse – and Museum founder Rebecca Hoffberger. "Smile" features the costumes, cartoons, out-loud & 3-D glee-filled surprises created by 90 artists, imps, and comedians with accompanying essays, factoids, quotes and blurbs that revel in the history and science behind the gift of laughter.

Among the highlights: The comedian Michael Baldwin's spectacular toy assemblages – created from five decades of dedicated dumpster-diving; the wickedly funny cartoons of the late quadriplegic artist John Callahan; and the comical, "unflattering" portraits by Rev. Aitor. Other exciting contributions include the comic visionary embroideries of Chris Roberts-Antieau and an homage to MAD Magazine including the glittering, beaded, beetle-winged bed by Patty Kuzbida.

Visitors will romp through a warren of mini galleries designed to explore some key aspect of humor – from its biological science to its many timeless, transcultural, delights. The galleries include: "HO-HO-HO HA-HA-HANUKKAH"; "More Tickle!" inspired by the favored signed words of Washoe, the first chimp to learn ASL; "Toot Suite!; "Holy Laughter"; "Tears to Laughter"; "Boo! Why Playing Monster is Fun" and the "Visionary Kid's Room."