Eleanor Davis Asks a Radical Question, Modestly

whyartIF YOU’RE GOING to write about art, you should probably start with a gesture of modesty. A ritual demurral doesn’t just pacify those expert readers who wait, daggers quivering, to eviscerate hubris. It also serves as an implicit pledge of your ethics. It tells your audience you want only to guide and enhance their taste, not trample all over it with your giant opinionated paws.

Modesty comes naturally to Eleanor Davis. In 2014’s How To Be Happy, the comic artist interspersed long, painstakingly drawn narratives with silly little black-and-white doodles. In one, a group of people zipped themselves into a giant bag for no clear reason, explaining only that “it was specially made in the Netherlands.” In another, a man with the outline of Mickey Mouse’s head on his shirt cut off a sleeping woman’s fingers (bloodlessly, with scissors). The doodles had no purpose except to belie profundity and keep the reader off-balance. Last year’s You & a Bike & a Road was similarly unassuming…  READ MORE AT THE LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS.

June 2, 2018

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