Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wave at Lynda Barry

Here's another take on Hokusai, from artist/author Lynda Barry. Barry learned to use Japanese ink through an old exercise taught by the masters: drawing 100 demons. In the resulting book One Hundred Demons, she frequently draws herself as a monkey. There are several different images of the monkey at sea, rowing away from a giant wave or a giant sea monster or some other "demon" form. You can compare her work to Hokusai's, in which the huge perspective on the wave and the tiny oarsmen evoke fear of being overcome by a strong force. Barry is pretty literal about this fear, turning the wave into an actual demon.

With students it would be interesting to talk about other life forces that are stand-ins for deep, common fears and other emotions. . . to invite poems or stories or drawings about these "demons" . . . and to discuss the role of the ocean in people's emotional lives, as well as their physical lives.

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