Tell Me About Your Mother
Last night I had a dream I was walking on an empty freeway with a martini in one hand and a beedog in the other. Bathrobe clad with a cigarette dangling from my mouth like Valley of the Dolls meets The Color of Money, I flag down Mr. T, who is speeding by on a tractor while singing “Private Eyes,” by Hall and Oates.
We exchange knock-knock jokes and arrive at an oceanfront condo where I begin frantically locking the windows to keep out the screaming blond lady on the patio who looks like my cousin, but whom I address as Angelina Jolie. She is trying to kick my ass, I imagine, for making fun of her teeth which have curiously been replaced by green and purple gemstones.
Heloooooooooo? Calling Dr. Freud.
With good reason (see above), there is great fascination with the world of psychoanalysis, and the machinations of the conscious and unconscious mind. Historically, humor has been employed as a partner in these explorations, often because painful and complicated experiences and emotions sometimes require a disarming approach in order to sneak by our well-armed defenses.
And what’s safer and more innocuous than a cartoon.
Since 1927, The New Yorker has been publishing that challenge over and over again in what amounts to more than 400, therapy-related funnies. These artists have built and reinforced into our collective brain, a visual iconography and a popular lexicon for they way we publicly discuss and understand things that would otherwise stay undercover.
Therefore, in honor of Siggie Freud’s 150th birthday, the Skirball Cultural Center is presenting a new exhibit called, “On The Couch: Cartoons From The New Yorker,” with more than 40 classic and contemporary cartoons on display.
The show debuted in Los Angeles last week at the Ruby Gallery, and will run until the end of December, before heading to Vienna. Admission is free, and if you go on a Thursday, every exhibit is free, and the center stays open until 9pm.
In the Sepulveda Pass off the 405 Fwy at Skirball Center Drive.
Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat / 12p-5p
Thursday / 12p-9p
Sunday / 11a-5p
The Skirball will be closed Sept 23, Oct 1(at 3p), and Oct 7.
Cartoon by Bruce Eric Kaplan via cartoonbank.com
Published in The New Yorker November 11, 2002