It’s actually the whimsical nom de guerres of a duo of characters I often illustrate to make (non)sense of the world that are a vignette of the organ grinder and monkey idiom (wiktionary.org) as something of a joke for those that commission who can often find them self at a loss as to which of the two they are talking, and making available the excuse that “the monkey did it” if something is taken the wrong way. (More on that later.)
But used here is just the handle, a pseudonym that I use for sketching this sort of stuff. I’ve used a few over the years; my real name really isn’t that much of a secret having have used it selling my illustration in the past, but frankly it’s not gonna interest anyone, so let it go.
Why a pseudonym?
Many “artists” and illustrators prefer to use pseudonyms to work under, and, for sure, it makes my life a helluva lot simpler, for I live in an estuarial town with much fishwifery gossip and middle-aged, paleale drinking UKippery supporting “neighbourhood watch” who have recently adopted the use of Facebook looking to apportion societal blame—when not embarrassingly having to ask to assist with Trojan removal after the granny porn they would never look for has mysteriously hijacked their Android phone overnight. C’est la vie.
And to be honest, it’s what I’m sketching I’d rather you to get to know rather than “me”, who is in all truth quite happy with a much more private existence, indeed, as are my family: Wot no social media?
This is of course unlike the celebrities I often caricature, but I’ve never signed up for living my personal life in public eye. Undoubtedly many of those those famous celebs did neither beyond the persona they present, but while they can’t get away with it, their fame being a feeding tube that winds a long way down, I bloody well thankfully can.
Who am I really satirising?
Although a child of the tabloid gossip age, for those celebrities though, I do actually have a lot of respect—as much as I seemingly can caricaturing what I do—and you may notice I’m as keen to parody the tabloid media’s representation of a scandalous or “disgusting” story which they are as keen to carry as I am to draw a satirical image of a celebs sexualised persona which is seemingly inherent in media copy regardless of story and the social media swirl surrounding it rather than making any particular insinuation about their real character or personality. In a way I’m making a rather rude comment on the Baudrillard-esque po-mo hyperreal “simulacra” (Wikipedia) born of pop culture’s pornified obsession with celebrity.
But hey, I didn’t create that situation and nor did anyone on the internet; 8-page Tijuana Bibles (Wikipedia) were popular sketched pornographic celebrity and counter-cultural tracts popular in America from the 1920s to the 1960s and have just carried on in one form or another ever since either drawn or with Photoshop fakery, and, to be honest, the art history of caricature itself was often bluer than any moon you could have wished or not to see since the 18th century if not before.
I sincerely hope you enjoy, and return again soon if you do.
Wot no social media?
No, it’s really not my bag to indulge personally. However, social media is the defining part of the current stage of the internet’s evolution and the supercilious indignation that is seemingly shared by all is a recurring theme for satire. And how could I not love it with regards the illustration inspiring pictorial cornucopia it provides? But then again there is a view that it is none too healthy, often bringing out the worst in all: Social media is social masochism (psychologytoday.com, Mar. 2018).
Besides some with real-name policies being somewhat pseudonym-unfriendly, those now much reported on toxic antics have quickly put me off any platform I’ve ever been talked into joining to help tout my invariably TOS prohibited illustration, and my own oft sociability-straining “artistic temperament” less euphemistically described as not the most stable of people (thisisnocave.blogspot.com) does no favours for my social-mediaic credentials either.
So I’m quite content to watch it from the sidelines while it becomes the ostracising, ever watching dystopia prophesied by Black Mirror.