For my money there’s few things quite as gut-wrenching as the idea of the sad clown – a trope which has fascinated creatives from rococo painter Antoine Watteau (whose picture of Pierrot remains one of the most tragic scenes in art) right up to David Brent in The Office forced to lark around in a giant bird costume shortly after being fired. It is though something of a cliche and so any new takes on it need to steer clear of heavy-handed sentimentality, which Dave Brown navigates skillfully in his new project Tough Crowd.
The designer and photographer is no stranger to the comedy world, as he plays Bollo the gorilla in The Mighty Boosh and indeed both his co-stars Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt make an appearance. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, with a really arresting series featuring both stand-ups and comedy actors, which at their best hint at some of the reasons people feel the need to pursue this apparently perverse career path. You can still go and check them out for a couple more days at London’s Strand Gallery or better still why not buy a print as all the proceeds go to the AfriKids charity.
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- Patrick Kyle uses analogue and digital techniques in these pared-back illustrations
- Audrey Weber’s eccentrically enlarged figurative illustrations
- Hanne Berkaak’s deeply moving and sensitive animation tackling self-harm
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- Grope Sans: a very rude typeface by Bompas & Parr
- Japanese graphic designer Ryu Mieno creates type-heavy works fizzing with energy
- The reductive and exacting work of graphic designer Laura Prim
- Why creative education for advertising is stuck in the dark ages
- Leipzig-based graphic designer Anja Kaiser takes us through her portfolio
- Nicolas Jaar releases Network, a book inspired by radio