In an election year as heated as this one, it’s important to be able to laugh. Political cartoonists help sustain the civic sense of humor while keeping a sharp critical edge. Horse and Buggy Press celebrates the political cartoon in two shows at Durham’s Bull City Arts Collaborative: “Bathroom Humor: National Cartoonists Take on HB2” and “How I Learned to Draw: Cartoons from Five Decades by V.C. Rogers.”
Rogers has drawn for the Durham Morning Herald, the Spectator and the Independent Weekly/IndyWeek. He also curated the “Bathroom Humor” exhibit.
Focusing solely on cartoonists’ responses to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, “Bathroom Humor” collects work by over 40 artists. Local cartoonists as well as nationally known artists like Pulitzer Prize-winner Steve Sack, the show lays open issues of sexual identity, gender stereotyping, the right to privacy, women’s safety and the role of government.
The show will be at Bull City Arts Collaborative, 401-B Foster St. throught Sept. 25. The works also will be on exhibit at Duke University’s Bryan Center from Sept. 19-25. There it will be part of the 2016 Political Cartoon and Satire Festival. bullcityarts.org or 919-949-4847.
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The festival also will feature:
▪ “Bathroom Banter,” an open discussion about HB2, will on Sept. 23 at 2:00 p.m. in Reynolds Industries Theater. Charlotte Observer editorial cartoonist and 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Siers will moderate the free discussion which features legal scholars and satirists and promises to look at both sides of the issue.
▪ “Night of the Simpsons” with three writers, producers and directors discussing the show (they’re bringing clips).
The News & Observer’s longtime political cartoonist Dwane Powell’s work will also be featured in Durham in conjunction with the festival. “Dwane Powell: The Art of Politics, 40 Years of Editorial Cartoons & Then Some,” will be on display from Sept. 13 to Oct. 8 at the Power Plant Gallery at the American Tobacco Campus. He’ll be at the Third Friday reception at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16.
Catching up with The Real Laww
Known for his quirky approach to art, Laww gets real (while keeping his M.O.) with his latest release. A nod to the challenges of life as an artist, working dad and Marine (USMC Reserves) – “I don’t wanna go to bed, I stay alive with hard days and long nights, but it’s alright” – the single’s video (featuring vocalist Mailande Moran and produced in association with Durham-based independent record label Cardigan Records) was a year in the making.
Laww gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the video’s inspo, his commitment to the Bull City and what’s to come.
Q: “Go To Bed” is an ode to the complexities of your life and challenges/joys of life as artist, Marine, dad … how so?
A: “Go to Bed” promotes balance and to not oversleep. You want it get it, but don’t let it get you.
Q: How is “Go To Bed” also an ode to Durham?
A: We are on the edge of being the next “Atlanta” music-wise. Some people fear that change and say we’re growing too fast and losing our originality and identity in the process. I say keep up. Don’t go to sleep if you have to. Stay original; stay balanced. But don’t fear the inevitable. I’m always down for something new, but it has to be fresh.
Q: You drew local inspo for the video. Where from?
A: From the hip-hop cyphers at NCSU, the mystical feeling of N.C. swamps at dawn and the ongoing challenges of putting my kids to sleep.
Q: Durham musician Mailande Moran lends her vocals to the track and makes a video cameo. How’d you hook up with her on the song and video?
A: This is the first song we collaborated on. She was also on “Right Now.” We have other work together that’s not released right now. ... Her voice is silk, and that’s what this song needed. And also we and our friends go to Cocoa Cinnamon almost every Wednesday morning for the past three years almost. So us joining forces on music was inevitable.
Q: You have other fam/friends making video cameos. What’s the significance?
A: Started from the bottom now we’re here. Day one’s ride or die.
Q: You (and we) love DURM — so we gotta know: your perfect day in the city?
A: Picnic on the #2 bus. That’s DURM. … What’s in my basket: Breakfast, black coffee from Cocoa Cinnamon, chicken biscuit from Rise. Lunch: Motorco sliders and a Fullsteam Carver. Dinner: Bull City Burger and brew. I can people-watch and eat.
Q: Finally … new video dropping. Can we be on lookout for new album or anything else in the works?
A: “Accidental Masterpiece” is the album in the works. DJ Shahzad and I will be doing a weekly show called “The Process.” I don’t want to give away too much because people like watching, but it’s a dope concept, and we’ll be inviting other beat-makers, video-makers, vocalists, rappers, etc., to collab with. Starts in September.
Correspondent Melissa Howsam