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NOTE FROM THE ARTIST

Hi. Like most kids, I grew up loving larger than life characters on TV and in movies. When I discovered the joys of drawing, GI JOE, the A-TEAM and WWF wrestlers all became my muse. I never wanted to be one of those tough dudes, I just liked sketching and coming up with elaborate scenarios for them. But when I discovered the work of Leslie Nielsen and Jim Carrey, everything changed. I did want to be one of those funny dudes. No more guns or tanks or bodyslams for me... I just wanted comedy. The sillier the better. 

In university, I majored in Art History, so I could learn to write and deepen my understanding of art. I also minored in weed. Memories of watching Caddyshack and Billy Madison high with my friends have stuck with me all these years. The Larry Sanders Show? WKRP? NBC's Must See TV Thursday Nights with Cheers and Night Court? Are you kidding me? Clearly gifts from Jah!  So sure, the works of Duchamp, Matisse and Picasso were cool...but in terms of artistic enjoyment, they were no match for the likes of Harold Ramis and Adam Sandler. And when I finally got turned on to Trey Parker and Judd Apatow, well, sayo-fuckin-nara visual arts... I was going to write comedy for a living.

And so here we are. Seventeen years and bunch of unsold spec scripts later. I haven't given up, but there's only so much swimming against the tide you can do before you tire out and are forced to take a breather. And sometimes amidst your struggle, you find yourself longing for the good old days. So this collection, Jokes of Art, is exactly that.  In the fleeting digital world of memes, twitter and snapchat, it's an ode to comedy nostalgia and my love letter to the classic fictional characters that I grew up on and that have managed to last all these years. 

FAN ART AND COPYRIGHT

Call it what you want, Geek Art, Pop Art, Fan Art, appropriation, stealing, infringement... whatever you like. I just call it the "history of comedy according to me, while doodling in front of netflix." I'm really not trying to make any kind of statement here. I'm not a serious artist... if there even is such a thing. That being said, please don't sue me. I've been studying the nuances of copyright surrounding 'Fan Art' for a month now and my brain hurts! Parody, Fair Use.... sigh. I just want to borrow iconic comedy that's floating around the net and turn it into fun art for my wall... and maybe yours. Earning a lil dough to fund operations (ie: my survival) would be great. Giving back to a community that could use some help would be really great too. I can't think of a more beautiful and fitting cause than my hometown chapter of Gilda's Club.  I will be making the contribution at the end of every month and posting proof...  hopefully it's not just from a measly few sales... cause that would be kind of embarrassing.

One last thing - In 1962, Warhol created his Marilyn series, based off of a publicity shot from her 1953 film Niagra. While he transformed the image by transferring it onto screenprints and canvas, the image used as a stencil was not legally his. This by law is infringement, plain and simple. I get that. Same thing when he used Campbell Soup cans - only Campbell's didn't care, because it was free POSITIVE publicity. This is what happened in the "Fan Art" community. And what I'm hoping will happen here. But I'm not interested in drawing Pickachu or Star Wars shit. To me Vintage Comedy is art... and I don't think it should be relegated to history or digitally archived on youtube. 

So all I ask, is if you do have a beef, please just let me know and I'd be happy to remove the product from the gallery.

Otherwise my hope is that this art brings you back to a fun place.... and that you find a print or two worthy of hanging. 

Rich Letovsky
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You can find the rest of my design work here:
rickyletovsky.com