Antivision by Rosalind Krauss

By Rosalind Krauss

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A lot of Crumb themes and images are here in miniature. The city landscape, meticulously drawn by Crumb. The blend of funny animals and animal lust, so to speak. Crumb’s midcareer drawing style is at its peak here. Particularly relevant are two frames on the third page. Both are close-ups of Dirty Dog. In the first, the fantasy he has just had vanishes in a ‘pop’ of exploding air. Dirty Dog looks apprehensive, with beads of sweat hopping off his brow and a focused, intense look in his eyes. But Crumb doesn’t stop there.

5, Crumb and his friends S. Clay Wilson and Robert Williams had long discussions about the role of art in society. ‘They had this image of themselves very clearly as art out-laws, sticking it to the booshwah, the big lie, the mass delusion of mainstream culture, both high and low. I was coming from a rather more conventional cartoonist-as-entertainer background … For better or worse, the influence of Wilson and Williams began to show in my work. ’ 57 Robert Crumb 14/2/05 11:38 am Page 58 D. K .

Crumb’s taste, it seems, veered from a very early age toward the humble, honest, unpretentious quality of American arts and literature, a perhaps illusory pastorality that, at least for Crumb, represented an alter40 Robert Crumb 14/2/05 11:38 am Page 41 RO B E RT C RU M B native to the self-satisfied corruptions of the day. He preferred to look back, rather than be in the present. ’ The Crumb Woman: The later ‘confessional’ Crumb is close-mouthed about the true nature of his interest in women. Perhaps his fantasies had not yet taken a final form.

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