Thursday, March 22, 2007

SLANTblog Art Auction

Going back to SLANT’s heyday, cartoons were the staple of that little ‘zine. Most of them were done by SLANT’s editor/publisher -- yours truly. Occasionally, a reader would inquire about buying the original artwork for a ‘toon in SLANT, which occasionally led to me selling the same. But most of the original art from that era of a thousand glue sticks got lost in the shuffle.

Over the years, my illustrations and cartoons have been published under a number of mastheads. Again, every now and then I’d sell the art for one of them, when someone asked for it, but I never really made an effort to do so. To me, such art was being produced for the camera and printing press, not to hang on a wall.

Since beginning SLANTblog in 2003, I’ve posted several of my old cartoons and created new ones, as well as a number of caricatures of politicians, to be posted. Like before, I’ve had a few inquiries about buying one every now and then, but I didn’t follow up on it. Now that is changing.

Years ago I had the good luck to have an art show open in a popular coffee shop’s gallery space right after a feature article about me and my cartoons appeared in the local newspaper. Suddenly, even small illustrations and cartoons were in demand. Subsequently, the show’s art sales and what it led to got me out of a jam that only cash could cure.

So, as an experiment, and because I need to make some dough fast -- or else -- I’m going to try to use this blog to auction off some art. Most people, even those who collect art, probably wouldn’t care to own originals of political cartoons and caricatures. But some folks do care about such things, because they are art-loving political junkies. They are the ones who have bought such things from me in the past, they are my target for this effort.

Larry Sabato bought the 4” by 6” original of a 1994 caricature I did of him for a set of cards -- Campaign Inkbites -- on the Virginia Senatorial race that appeared on CNN and in some newspapers. It was probably the best $100 he’s ever spent (he also bought 12 packs of the cards at $12.50 per). So, I’m hoping political bloggers and some of their readers will likewise be interested acquiring such unique souvenirs ... especially if they are available at a friendly price.

Each piece will have a lowball starting price, meaning I hope to get more with the bidding process, but won’t take less. At this point I don’t know how long the bidding will/should last on a given piece, but for now let’s say I’ll update the bidding process and announce when a piece is about to be sold for a certain price.

Note: All of the scans of black and white images posted in this experiment were done with pen and ink. The full-color work was done in ink, water colors and color pencils. Brief comments are welcome below this post and each like it.
  • Bids and serious inquires should be sent via email to Please put "Art Auction" in the subject line so I won't miss it.
The first three images of the SLANTblog Art Auction are below. I’ll be posting others soon. Stay tuned...

The Tim Kaine caricature above appeared in the paper version of SLANT in April 2005. It accompanied an exclusive interview with Kaine, which also appeared on SLANTblog (click here). The bidding for the original artwork starts at $45.00.

Update: The Tim Kaine caricature has been sold. Bids on other pieces in the Art Auction are still welcome.

This portrait of George Bush was done for in 2000. It appeared there several times. The bidding for the original artwork starts at $36.00. Meaning you can buy it for that price if no one outbids you.

This caricature of Doug Wilder was part of the 1994 Campaign Inkbites card collection mentioned above, and as remembered on SLANTblog (click here). Several of the originals to this particular set have been sold, a few are left. The bidding for this one starts at $54.00.

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