Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive / Search
DEC 16 - DEC 24, 2014

No One Seems to be Able to Get Enough Skrlin

By Rafael Guillaume Gautier-Shapiro

December 16, 2014

The artist and his subject . When Mayor Paul Dyster (left) commented to artist Gerald Skrlin (right) that he didn't look like his cartoon (below), Skrlin replied, "You will".

(In our continuing series on the works of artist Gerald Skrlin, art critic Rafael Guillaume Gautier-Shapiro joins the chorus of art critics piling praise on this 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, Sam Fruscione - a former councilman, arrested, since the language and the art were insulting to the ladies. Here is the discerning and trenchant commentary of Gautier-Shapiro on two of Skrlin's most recent works.)


The viewer is encouraged to note the date of completion on the work because the date of 2009 contrasted to the present year of 2014 tells one all they need to know when it comes to SeniorPlanner Thomas DeSantis, the city planning efforts and what has "become" of those plans as planned by the planner, in the intervening five years.

This particular political cartoon is arefreshing "throwback" to cartooning days of yore in which the lampooned subject was writ large, the images blunt, and the message quite "in your face." Note the clever "re imagining" of theThird Street directional structure as a tombstone for those businesses that died during the "re-birth" of Third Street....a re-birth that was no re-birth at all but instead a $5 millionfuneral for a streetscape better forgotten than celebrated.

The homey American gothic image of a cow is corrupted to become the city of Niagara Falls as it is abused/milked by Mr. DeSantis ashe counts down the days to his retirement.

At the end of it all the viewer is led to grasp the fact that from 2009 to 2014 not one single positive thing has been planned, realized or achievedby Thomas DeSantis with regard to the city's downtown overall and the city's Third Street specifically. The humor of human folly has been perfectly juxtaposed against the sad and disturbingreality of a flawed political process. DeSantis has been a planner for 20 years. He is the one constant through a spate of mayors. What has he planned? What has been realized?


The artist has characterized the political process as a veritable monster much in the vein of the proverbial Dark Ages "dragon" that was reputed to haunt the woods and hollows of Northern Europe waiting to waylay the innocent villager and swallow them whole.
In this cartoon incarnation the "beast" of the political process has destroyed both Johnny Destino - he lost his racefor state senate - and Mark Grisanti who abandoned the Democratic Party, then gained office in the state senate as a Republican and failed this year to win reelection as an Independence Partymember. Most importantly this artistic rendering presents an auto named NF1 - which is the license plate number of Mayor Paul Dyster's official car - as poised to enter the dragon's gaping maw.

While the driver of the NF1 automobile is too small to accurately identify, there is little doubt that Mayor Paul A. Dyster is behind the wheel, pedal to the metal, driving headlong intothe darkness of the belly of the beast...and taking the City of Niagara Falls with him due to the extravagance of his city hall administration. The beast of politics, the death sport of thepolitical process and the foolishness of a spendthrift mayor - who has had enough casino cash under his control to make Niagara Falls one of the lowest taxed cities - instead of one of the highest taxed - with Dyster picking the special interests who will get casino cash - are all on display in this masterpiece of political commentary. This cartoon doesn't auger well for Paul Dyster's reelection next year.

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






Bureaucratic Indifference, New York Style Contributes to Little Girl's Suffering, Death
Studies Show Marijuana May Help Cure Cancer
Peaceful Falls Protest in Support of Criminals Does Society no Good
John Kane True Champion of Native Sovereignty
Exploding the City Budget and Finance Myths
No Rhyme or Reason to Justify Dyster's Casino Cash Spending
The Reporter Offers to "Restructure" City Finances
Gazette Agrees With Reporter on Dyster's Hard Rock Party
State Lawmakers Seeking Pay Raise, Should Get Pay Cut
City Hires Hodgson Russ to Fight Age-Discrimination Complaint
Standing Tall: Dyster Did not Delete Photo of Bill Cosby
No One Seems to be Able to Get Enough Skrlin
History: Glynn Shamed into Dropping Fake Maid Legend by Local Historian and Native Allies
The Original Legend of the Maid of the Mist
Reporter Launches New North Tonawanda Column
Anti-Catholic Necklace
Republican Majority Passes $336 Million 2015 County Budget, Despite costly state welfare mandates, taxes lower than decade ago
Teenage, Suspected Murderer of Falls' Man Seeks Plea Deal
Dyster Proposes Getting City into Business of Animal Rescue
Beth Ceretto Joins Walker in Not Filing Disclosure Reports
CBP Officers in Falls Seize Cocaine Hidden Inside a Tire And Other Sad and Stupid Cocaine-related Smuggling and Misdeeds
This Week in Stupid Crime
City Hall Jokes
He Spent it "My Way"
Letters to the Editor
Great Dane Puppies Available
Niagara Falls Housing Authority's Youth Choir to Host Annual Christmas Concert
Bills Defense Is Super Bowl Material; Offense Still Lacking

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina