Ah, Saturday morning. That blissful time formerly devoted exclusively to cartoons, though what happened? Cartoon Network, did you have to ruin everything? Even though Bugs, Daffy, and their pals might not be standard pancake breakfast companions anymore, given this new less-than-appetizing art show at London's Aquarium gallery, that might be a good thing.
You know how Elmer Fudd was always hunting ducks, and Daffy's bill was constantly getting blown to the back of his head? Artist James Cauty does — and he's re-imagined all of the faux-cartoon violence, with realistic gory consequences. The artist says, "People have been saying since the 60's that cartoons should show the consequences of violence, or kids will get the wrong idea. It's very difficult to shock kids these days — you have cartoon characters being shot in the head and walking off cliffs, so we have decided to replace them with something more realistic."
That realism includes a work showing the cat Sylvester having taken a bite out of Tweety, with a generous amount of blood, and Tom the cat chopping Jerry the mouse into small pieces in a pool of . . . Jerry's insides. Is this appropriate for kids? To see what the artist says,
The idea for the show came from just such a kid — his own son. He says, "The idea actually came from my 15-year-old son, who suggested I do some artwork showing what cartoons are really like by showing their real consequences." In his estimation, it's fine for kids: "I'm a parent myself, and if I saw pictures like that I would think of something kids would really love, because it's no-holds-barred violence." The gallery owner says so far kids have gone bananas over it. "Kids were very excited by it all, which is interesting because art is never normally aimed at children. It should be a very successful show, and will raise lots of questions about violence in the media and in our culture."