This effort by “The Skrlin” hearkens to the early portion of the 20th Century American Gothic school of painting, a school that was exemplified by Grant Wood through the execution of his masterpiece of the same name: American Gothic.
A masterpiece of art ¬ be it painting, writing, music ¬ must withstand the test of time and great art must recall the past while celebrating the present and hinting of an unknowable future.
In this work the viewer is presented with a unified and central image of Mayor Paul A. Dyster as scarecrow...but not just any scarecrow since this scarecrow holds a PhD. Skrlin hands us a dilemma: Do we take the scarecrow on its face as a pseudo human designed to frighten birds in the farmer’s field or do we dig deeper to consider the possibility that this is an “educated” scarecrow that has earned a “doctorate degree?”
Is this a scarecrow that has overachieved or is this a PhD who has underachieved?
The cartoonist leaves that for us to decide. However, the artist has given us a slight hint. The post that holds the scarecrow erect is surrounded with kindling, and it does appear that the scarecrow is going to be put to the stake...quite possibly by an angry mob.
In light of this we can properly guess that the people who placed the firewood beneath the straw dummy are not very impressed with either the scarecrow per se or the scarecrow’s level of university education.
The pseudo man is simply an Elmer Fudd¬like creature (“PhD” = “Fudd”) awaiting immolation.
Dr. Janet Butterfield-Winston PHD
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