humor in art

There simply is not enough laughter in the world.” -Steve Wirtz, paper sculptor artist


Magical Words

What phrase or sentence have you read or heard that has stuck with you, and you definitely know it has changed you, perhaps permanently?

Like a spell cast upon you!

The power of words sometimes amazes me. Here are some that come to mind, ones that changed me forever: “Misery is optional” “Everyone is trying to help me” “One day at a time” “Learn to pick your battles.”

[Share yours in the comment section below!]

And Steve Wirtz’sThere simply is not enough laughter in the world.” has had a profound impact on me. I reflect on it often, several times a week as a matter of fact…no kidding. I see its application everywhere – for example, “You can take you work seriously, but don’t take yourself so seriously,” is one that I remember.

Steve inspired this blog post with his statement.

We have a tendency, it seems, to always take art so “seriously.”* We discuss perspective (no humor there), contrast (no humor there), elements, themes, textures, line, styles, etc…none funny.

Frankly, comical art has not been given fair consideration as viable art!

Take a look at this piece by Steve, titled “End of an Autumn Nap”

humor in art

And this one, titled, “Old MacDonald Hated Wrestling Night”

humor in art


He is a master of facial expressions…often using minimal amount of paint, yet still capturing “Essence” (Yes, serious word, but essential here, I think.)

Another master of this was Charles Schultz for the Charlie Brown series – one that has gone on forever, long after Charles Schultz’s death on February 12th, 2000 (the day before his last Peanuts was posted). Snoopy was even adopted by MetLife Insurance as their mascot for over 30 years.  What simple lines…the marvel is how he captured expressions with very little detail!

Charles Schultz was one of the most popular, successful and profitable artists of all time – despite not being so serious, right?

humor in art

For some reason, we do not think of cartoonists, comic book graphics, caricature creators as “artists.”

I stop with this statement: Life is TOO precious to not laugh every time you get the chance…and any artist who brings a smile, or is able to evoke laughter, with his or her art is a gift to us all.

If you need to put something in that large wall space, or need tall wall art for your living room décor, or wall art for your lobby or waiting room, consider putting in something beautiful or humorous, or both!
*I was curating a show with Steve Wirtz’s work, along with a few other artists. One of the artists came up and whispered to me, “I don’t want my art shown next to his.” referring to Steve’s wonderful pieces. (I would not share this if Steve and I had not shared a laugh over this.) This illustrates the bias against what is seen as “non-serious art” even in, perhaps especially in, our own ranks.

I am privileged to own two pieces by Steve and feel nothing but warmth and appreciation as I walk by them in my home each day.

And for those that say great art cannot be humorous, I would say, as they do in England, “Bollocks!”


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