12 Comments

  1. Those wall painters are inside the paintings. The conceit is that a painting is an actual room somewhere, and painters, set decorators, etc. have to go inside the room and set it up.

    I don’t think the art works well, but that’s the conceit.

  2. I agree with dvandom. Those are pictures of painters painting. The gentleman thinks if he comes back later there will be more that has been painted, possibly completed. Clearly he doesn’t get the concept of these being static images having caught a moment in time.

  3. I agree with Carl Fink. If they were pictures of painters painting, then they’d be done. If they are seeing painters at work inside the frame painting the eventual painting, it makes sense to come back when they are finished.

  4. If it’s meant to be paintings of painters, the art should indicate that, say by using a PhotoShop effect to make what’s in the frames slightly desaturated or something, so it’s clear it’s a painting within the cartoon.

  5. I thought of artwork consisting of windows into a room. However, there are overhead lamps for illuminating that you wouldn’t need in that case, so I’m leaning towards paintings of painters.

  6. @Scott “I agree with Carl Fink. If they were pictures of painters painting, then they’d be done.”

    They are done. That’s the whole joke.

    @Carl Fink

    “If it’s meant to be paintings of painters, the art should indicate that, say by using a PhotoShop effect to make what’s in the frames slightly desaturated or something, so it’s clear it’s a painting within the cartoon.”

    No.

  7. I know that this is not what Baldwin intended, but my very first impression was a reference once made by Bertolt Brecht, referring to Hitler (who once had delusions of becoming a talented artist) as “der Anstreicher” (“the house painter”). The term is very dated now, but is still reasonably well known (in Germany).

  8. @MikeP – it depends on whether you think the joke is that the people are too stupid to realize that it isn’t a painting of painters, or if the joke is that the painting is under construction and they have to come back when it’s done. I’m guessing that the painters within the painting are in motion, but you can’t see that in the frozen comic.

  9. I am reminded of the back cover of Moving Pictures . . . where they are a making a moving picture of a pun about movers moving pictures while viewers are being “moved” by those same pictures.

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