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Art and Visual Humor

  • By: Sheri R. Klein
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Art has long had a social function to express a wide range of human emotions. When one thinks of humor and art, cartoons and the “funnies” may easily come to mind. Yet, a look at the history of art reveals that humor comes in many shapes and forms, from biting satire to wit and whimsy, to puns and parodies and in compelling works that include painting, sculpture, photography, site-specific works, performance art, and of course, comic art. Both historical and contemporary artists have captured our attention and seduced us through the use of comic imagery and stylistic devices by skillfully manipulating our sense of the plausible. Artists who are able to invite us into laughter through visual and conceptual twists and turns of language and ...

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