In Summary
  • Cartoon’s distinctive style is colourful, flamboyant and filled with a dizzying array of designs.
  • He’s got everything from polka dots, strips and plaids to patterns that are geometric, floral and checkered in his art.

You can spot a Joseph Cartoon painting anywhere this industrious Banana Hill artist is exhibiting his art. Currently, that is at the Red Hill Gallery, where his one-man show spans decades of his paintings.

Cartoon’s distinctive style is colourful, flamboyant and filled with a dizzying array of designs. He’s got everything from polka dots, strips and plaids to patterns that are geometric, floral and checkered in his art. Often, he will pour many of those shapes and designs into a single painting with each pattern painted in a minimum of two colours.

And while there might seem to be a sameness to Cartoon’s style of decorative painting, if one looks closely, you will see that every artwork is different. The patterns, colours and shapes are also distinct.

What is the same in his art is that Cartoon rarely, if ever, lets go of the image of rural women tightly integrated into a single work. His village women’s interaction on canvas is practically surreal since they all seem to have a role to play except that all but one tends to be intact. The others are visible as a head, a leg or a hand. It’s a style that provokes a query: are there reasons for their dismemberment or is he just playing around with painting body parts?

Either way, it really doesn’t matter since one appreciates Cartoon for the increasing complexity of his work. His early works, which Hellmuth Rossler-Musch began collecting back in the 1990s, is far less complex (some would say ‘busy’) than the works he is painting now.

Page 1 of 2