Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Monkey Business

Monkeys and apes figured across the years in Paolozzi’s ‘image vocabulary’, for example: a chimp in The Dynamics of Biology, (Bunk!), 1952; another in uniform in Gina Lollobrigida, (General Dynamic F.U.N.), 1970; a pair in Pop Art Redefined, 1971. 

Among the unsigned picture prints of Moonstrips one of the most striking is ea 782 King Kong King Kongking Kong:


Here is Paolozzi’s expertise in deriving and combining patterns deployed to great effect.  As for this specific ape, I can’t help but wonder if there’s an echo here of ‘Tortured Life’ from As Is When – the poor old misunderstood creature; persecuted and apparently unpleasant, but, as Hollywood showed us, also capable of the most tender feelings! 

That tenderness is perhaps evident in ea 763 The Windmills, he murmured, . . .

Paolozzi had first used this image in an early Bunk! Collage.  Here it is below as featured in the facsimile series printed in 1972 and published by Snail Chemicals:

And, it’s the words that indicate an unseen, but possibly lurking ape in ea 750 My Pal the Gorilla Gargantua:

How’s that for colour vibrancy!
For more on 60s prints, please have a look at

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