WHAT BAT MAN MADE FARMERS DO
Ths is a 8.5 x 6.5 mixed media work on paper. It combines an adapted Bat Man cartoon, an early 1900's tabloid ad for frog farming, and a repurposed print of Frogs in Battle by Kawanabe Kyosai (1831-89.) My coloring was done with paint pens, markers, pen, and ink. I was thinking of all the schemes and "farming successes" the Trump administration touts. And the no holds barred manner of governing. And the lies. Why not frogs? Giant ones. The biggest ever produced by any administration in U.S. history. Nay, in world history. Who wouldn't jump at the chance to raise frogs! Well, probably not giant agribusinesses. They already thrive with the guvment's protection. See GIPSA rules. The American Frog Canning Company pitched frog farming to Depression era farmers. "All you need" the company said, "is a small pond and a few “breeders” in order to raise giant frogs." “As far back as I can remember,"Albert Broel, founder of the American Frog Canning Co. and author of Frog Raising for Pleasure and Profit said, "my mother used to say: ‘Son, if you want to make a success in life—Raise Frogs,” According to him, frog farming was“perhaps America’s most needed, yet least developed industry.” At $5 a dozen (about $100 dollars now), frogs could be turned into a fortune. People jumped at the opportunity. Broel produced recipes--frog a la King, bullfrog pineapple salad, frog soup etc. Eventually, the U.S. Postal Service intervened and indicted him for mail fraud. Today, Broel would probably be appointed Secretary of Agriculture. Or Commerce. The Japanese artist Kawanabe Kyosai was famous for assaults on other artists, excessive drinking, political satires (got him imprisoned--hope same doesn't happen to me...), and an excellent painter. The son of a samurai, the six-year-old Kyosai studied traditional Japanese painting with the ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kuniyoshi and, later, studied at the Kano school. Throughout his career, Japan was radicallymodernization. He satirized the decline of the Edo period, rise of the Meiji regime, and the Japanese adoption of Western art. Kyosai’s “demon paintings” depicted monsters, diabolical creatures--and frogs-- in a fantastical, exaggerated menageries.