Saturday, March 05, 2011

Boardwalk Showers part 18

Today was a pretty busy day. Errands around town in the morning, and then up to the Studio to do some block cutting for a few hours in the afternoon. As shown in the above photo, I cut out the two foreground figures in the left side panel. As I was working I made a few decisions as to how to cut the shadow areas of the women and the towels. As with the shower curtained figures, I'll see how well it works when I first print the block. All that detail was time consuming, so that's as far as I got today. The others have fewer shadows to work out and may go faster.

From the Studio I drove to Belmar for the opening reception of the Humor & the Lighter Side show. My contribution is shown above, an older piece called Advertising in the Jerry Springer Belt. Like much of my work, this one started from a true incident, a late 90's episode of Jerry Springer's talk show being pulled from syndication when advertisers found the topic too disturbing. I guess it's nice to know that there is a line they won't cross, but it did also remind me that every other day that the show airs it still has sponsors. Logically, advertisers only pay for spots if they feel that they can generate more income from the commercials than they pay to air them, so they must feel that Springer's viewers are the target audience for their products. So I started studying the commercials and eventually this print was the result. Based on the show's sponsors, the typical Springer viewer is unemployed, lacks a college education or even a high school diploma, is collecting or seeking a large settlement from an injury, suffers a variety of ailments, and seeks guidance from telephone psychics. The background map shows the territory of what I call the Jerry Springer Belt, a great swath of the south and midwest that (based on the accents) seems to be home of the overwhelming majority of the show's guests. The territory extends northward enough to include Chicago (where it's filmed) and New York City (from where I was seeing it broadcast). The piece attracted a bit of attention at the show today, where people enjoyed the fun images even before learning the whole story.


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