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Wednesday, March 22, 2000

Sick sad world

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 12:00 AM

Dave Cooper is among those artists, from Bosch to R. Crumb, whose aesthetic celebrates unsightliness. His work is so disturbing that Weasel #2 has been banned in Cooper’s native Canada.

The centerpiece of Weasel involves an unsatisfied children’s book illustrator who receives a grant for a gallery showing of erotic fine art. He calls the proposed exhibit "The Eroticism of Homeliness." It’s a revelation of the "wonderfully flawed woman" as an object of desire.

Tina is the nervous, acne-ridden, Rubenesque nonmodel who becomes the artist’s obsession – the beauty of rippling flesh. The piece goes on to detail his odd attraction and their unusual first sexual encounter in an uncomfortably up-front and unapologetic style.

The book also includes a short work called "Television Programme X-32 b," a disturbing, surrealistic cartoon world of child performance artists. Possibly the id of the other story’s artist, it reads like an opiate dream by Dr. Seuss.

The book also features work by Patrick McEown, whose amazing work with pacing changes the way that his comics themselves are read.

Weasel, while not for the faint of heart, is both strikingly original and an ugly work of art.

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