Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Artist Spotlight on R. Crumb

R. Crumb
R. CrumbRobert Crumb is regarded as the Grandfather of underground comics (and possibly female muscle art). This influential artist is considered a Genius by many and has a recognizable style that is both memorable and sometimes shocking. Movies, books and countless articles talk about his life and art, but here I want to focus on his passion and love of strong women.

R. Crumb drew women you couldn't push around. They have a common characteristic of thick, muscular legs and calves with a wholesome body. He says in the book R. Crumb: Conversations, "When I was younger I had problems because I was attracted to strong women. In High School you were supposed to like weak, frail women, I never did and felt guilty or thought I was kind of queer or something 'cause I liked women who were physically strong or independent, what would be considered masculine by traditional standards."

The fascination starts with Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. Model Irish McCalla starred as Sheena in the TV series that ran from 1955-56. He writes "I couldn't wait to go to bed at night to fantasize about me and Sheena!"

Many drawings depicting his boyhood feature powerful Catholic School girls in skimpy skirts. He elaborates, "I guess it's all just left-over hang-ups from Catholic Scool where the nuns were these big giant scary women who liked to pick on little boys so I developed this obsession to 'conquor' these big scary women."

One of his many book collections is titled Sex Obsessions: Big Beautiful Girls N' Creepy little Guys. It's a 256 page trip through his sexual psyche. "How To Have Fun With A Strong Girl" is just one of the 14 complete stories and 62 single page drawings.

Crumb's artwork has had harsh criticism with his overly sexualized women in subservient roles. He views them more as a compulsive catharsis to his fetishized fantasies. He explains, "I dreamed of strong women. My sexuality has been rather quirky ever since, in a state of arrested development, and it makes me want to have my way with big, strong, powerful women. I don't know why, I just do."

Robert Crumb currently lives in France with wife Aline Kominsky-Crumb and their daughter Sophie. See more at his website www.rcrumb.com

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