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DEC 09 - DEC 17, 2014

Skrlin Critics Continue to Praise His Genius

By H. Delilah Bennington

December 09, 2014

In our continuing series on the notable work of artist Gerald Skrlin, H. Delilah Bennington, joins the chorus of art critics heaping critical acclaim on the master cartoonist.

Skrlin arrived to sudden fame after lampooning Niagara Falls Acting-Controller, Maria Brown, who, along with Acting-Mayor Kristen Grandinetti, sought to suspend the first amendment of the US constitution - and tried to have the distributor of the cartoon arrested.

Here is Ms. Bennington's insightful and penetrating commentary on two of Skrlin's most recent works

Cash Mob

Can the word "mob" ever be pointed in a "playful" direction? The artist is illustrating the fact that, yes indeed, it can be playful while remaining simultaneously deadly serious. "Mob" is a term historically referenced in relation to the "mob" of crime, the "lynch mob" of the Deep South and the "mobs" who throughout mankind have threatened to destroy civilization…the Visigoths, the Vandals, the mob rule of the French Revolution and such.

The impassioned cartoonist is bringing all of this home to Niagara Falls with an image of a "cash mob" which is a play on the social media nonsense term of "flash mob" now in favor with such local pseudo intellectuals and would-be social activists as Mr. Seth Piccirillo and his ilk. At the center – or more precisely – at the literal tipping point of the cash mob is city controller Maria Brown.

Note that the artist repeats his motif of holding the controller at the center of all city financial activity, which only makes sense, since, despite denials to the contrary, all city cash resources truthfully flow through the controller's control…hence the accuracy of the very job title: Controller.

The members of the "cash mob" include Mayor Dyser, city administrator Donna Owens and city planner Tom DeSantis who reap rewards that are measured out and received through the graces of the controller's position in the Dyster administration.

From the outside - the view of the artist - this is "mob rule" while from the inside - the view of the "mobsters"- it is simply business as usual. In the end the artist is cleverly, cuttingly and ever so effectively informing the viewer that governmental mismanagement and mob behavior are purely matters of perspective.


With this piece of work the artist further evolves and continues to surprise as he takes his multi-leveled adventuring to previously un-explored, albeit "taste" challenged, dimensions. In this instance he presents on no less three levels, or as I prefer to call it: "Tri-dimensional-deliverance.

" While many political cartoonists occupy themselves in the pedestrian-like fashion of working on one level Mr. Skrlin gives the political connoisseur a veritable Russian nesting doll of images that roar at the viewer not once, not twice but thrice…firstly on the level of commonality through reference to PhD, second on the level of Piled High and Deep wordplay and thirdly on the level of physical discomfort based on the joyful playfulness of "piles" opposed to the real world reality of hemorrhoids.

In the presentment we see Mayor Paul Dyster, in pain from the foolish reality of his very own "PhD" (bull dung piled high and deep) soaking his piles/hemorrhoids in the refreshing/restorative waters of Niagara Falls…note that the tub occupied by Dyster is in actuality the waters of the flowing "horseshoe" Canadian waterfall.

As if this weren't enough to overwhelm the senses the artist "tosses off" a Shakespeare quote from the bard's Measure for Measure referencing a "bad actor" suffering from, of all things, physical disease including the humdrum, but nonetheless painful condition of hemorrhoids.

The political bad behavior of an elected official, common hemorrhoids and William Shakespeare together in one piece of humorous and insightful commentary…what more could a cartoon aficionado possibly hope for?

(The above is parody. The reader is advised to take it seriously at his peril.)

Since when was genius found respectable? The Artist Gerald Skrlin.





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