Classic Cartoons

Martin Plimmer on Michael ffolkes (Brian Davis)
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The Independent Culture
BRIAN DAVIS was the architect of magnificent paper palaces, vast enough to dwarf their pip-squeak human occupants, but never ponderous. He built them of deft, airy lines, and dressed them with decorative detail drawn from a substantial vocabulary of architectural forms. He was good at conveying space. Here the acreage of empty floor, which establishes the dimensions of the joke, is dramatically exaggerated by the lofty, asymmetrical vantage point and the rake of the perspective. There is also a mass of detail: the classical door pediment, the ionic columns with their instant ink wash marbling and, best of all, those two plump portrait subjects, whose lavishly recorded inactivity points up the onerous and unappreciated chore of the two cheerful chars.

Not surprisingly for such a stylish artist, ffolkes also designed clothes (for Anya Scott, as "ffanya").