Luke Dorman, Looking for a Place to Get Lost, 2008 Six-Color Lithograph, 14 1/2 × 19 1/2 in, Edition of 10

Snap Crackle Pow!

April 12–May 31, 2008

“The social organization which is most true of itself to the artist is the boy gang.” — Allen Ginsberg

Though not nearly so consciously structured as the group of Beat Movement writers (who were none too structured themselves, which may be a signifier of “the boy gang” itself), male artists tend to find one another in schools—often as early as in elementary school, when the fine art of doodling in class is honed. Boys are tacitly encouraged, mostly by their peers, to draw. They draw monsters, cars, bloody eyeballs, and later, the impossibly well-endowed physical attributes of heroes and their women.

Snap Crackle Pow! featured artists working in the medium of drawing, and investigates how the cultures of comic book art (including, but not restricted to, R. Crumb and a correlated mentality that reflects the writings of Charles Bukowski) have intersected with popular graphics (such as those on cereal boxes) to influence a new generation of draftsmen. Artists Luke Dorman, David Leigh, Larry Bob Phillips, and Clayton Porter could be said to represent the ‘boy gang’ influence that contributes so profoundly to art today. After all, according to The New York Times critic Roberta Smith, drawing is the new painting. As a curator, I became interested in how young women have made these highly graphical styles of drawing their own, and Maureen Burdock and Rose Simpson will contribute their knockout work to the exhibition—girls altering the dynamics of the boy gang in contemporary art.

— Kathryn M Davis, Guest Curator