Monday, September 20, 2010

Kitchen Mini Retrospective at MoCCA

The Oddly Compelling Mini-Retrospective of Denis Kitchen will open at MoCCA (NYC) October 5th and run through January. It will consist of approximately twenty hand-selected pieces that will attempt to summarize Kitchen's cartooning career. The focus will be on pieces that appear in the recent Dark Horse book The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen,such as “Working in Geektown,” the Bizarre Sex #1 cover, Major Arcana album cover, “The Square Publisher,” and “Five Minutes with God.” Opening reception 10/1 at Noon, Details on a Q & A session are still to be announced. Denis has worn lots of hats in his career; publisher, founder of the CBLDF, agent, writer, curator, collector and artist. I hope that this is the end of "artist" lagging behind at the end of this list, and that there will be more substantial "Art of Kitchen" shows yet to come.

Even at times when the demands of business take over, creativity will still find a way to leak out. In the case of Denis Kitchen's Chipboard Sketchbook (to be published by BOOM! Studios in October), it took the form of funny and surreal doodles on the chipboard backing of notepads, drawn in Sharpie and fine-point Uni-Ball pens (example on the left).  As a film industry & dot-com vet, I've sat through my share of brain sucking meetings, and I can't help trying to visualize what was going on when Kitchen drew some of these. Among the many wacky animals, winged and fish-headed humans, and all the other stuff, some things jump out. There's a whole drawing centered around $56.00 (the price of a book? dinner? who knows?).  Numerous drawings with knives and sarcastic comments lead me to think that the meetings weren't always pleasant. Other drawings are just fun and wacky; as Denis explains his "demented" drawings are a "stream-of-consciousness" expression, totally spontaneous and unplanned.  I'm looking forward to seeing an exhibition of these too, although I admit, now that I've seen them, I'm going to wonder what he's drawing every time we're on a long conference call :-)

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