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Tate Britain, Rude Britannia, stand up

artThe new exhibition at Tate Britain, Rude Britannia, combines the best of art and comedy in order to create an intellectual, sensory, and instinctually experience.

Co-curator of Martin Myrone, Cedar Lewis, sees the new exhibit as a source of enlightenment that defines the distinction between stand up comedies of fine art and tosses them aside.  Lewis stated that Tommy Cooper can be seen as a performance artist or Martin Kippinberger’s paintings seen as the work of a clown.

The curators at Tate Britain worked along with many of the best curators from around the world in order to create an exhibit that is a composite of comedy performers, satirists, and comic publishers creating a large body of comic art from around Britain dated from the 17th century up until the modern day.

The exhibition is split into several thematic sections allowing each feature comic to have a distinct presence in the rooms such as the Scarfe room which shows political disgust down to Martin Rowson’s room which presents the policies of Tony Blair in regards to the Iraq war.

Also notable is Gillray’s room, which shows William Pitt as the top public enemy in the face of his nation and Hill’s room which is best described as a blend of provocations and puzzles.

Paul Sandby also has an image of an exploding bottom in order to present the Georgian obsession with ballooning as well as several objects pulled out of popular culture such as a flask that is made in the form of a potato.

Throughout the Tate Britain exhibit, the viewer is constantly reminded that British comic art is often grotesque but remains highly meaningful.


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