Comic book artist, Gary Dumm, and Pop art painter, Laura Dumm, spent the past year creating 9 large paintings for their most recent show, “The Fame Shame Blame Game”, which was at Breakneck Gallery during September 2014. The first 8 works seen here are the synergetic depiction of their rather critical views of the present wacky world in which we all live.
They both worked on the same canvases, contributing together what each does best. Their process is to brainstorm ideas, after which Gary begins sketching (followed by critical discussion), then he refines the drawings further and transfers those final drawings to canvas. He then hands that canvas off to Laura, who does the lion’s share of the painting. If Laura needs help tweaking something, Gary has been known to actually pick up a brush and add some color, but he quips, “If it were up to me the whole world would be done in glorious black & white!” (Ordinarily, due to his comic book duties, he works only in black & white.)
Working this way is different from the way they usually collaborate. “I have to count on Gary to have the next canvas ready for me when I finish a painting,” says Laura. “And if a problem crops up we both discuss it and come up with a solution. Two heads are definitely better than one.” The quotes below each image were added to give an extra “left-brain” dimension to the works from the FSBG show.
Laura is first and foremost a painter. “I’m a typical Gemini, I need change. I have never worried about having a signature style, painting the same way over and over is a bit boring to me.” For example, from 2008 to 2011, she was painting people/animals in abstract quilt like patterns, then recently changed to a more realistic pop art style. The one constant in her work is a bright color palette. She is the colorist for Gary’s black & white cartoon projects, including art for Harvey Pekar’s autobiographical comic American Splendor and other publications.
The couple lives in a multiple cat household, all rescued strays, and are very supportive of animal rights issues. In 2003, Laura had a one woman show titled “A Cats Eye View” at SmarTArt Gallery in Tremont, Ohio. In 2013 she had a solo show titled “BubbaPalooza”. The show included 30 different artistic depictions of the same pose of Bubba, a 17 pound orange cat and her muse.
Gary worked with Harvey Pekar on his autobiographical comic book “American Splendor” since that author’s self-publishing venture started 30 years ago. He has shown artworks in exhibitions nationally from Cleveland to San Francisco and internationally from Canada to Germany. His cartoons have been published in Cleveland’s Scene, Free Times and Plain Dealer, with appearances also in Entertainment Weekly, the New York Times and France’s Le Monde. He is currently working on a 300 page graphic novel (fiction based on fact) set in Cleveland in 1916 about Irish and Italian immigrants digging under Lake Erie to create the infrastructure bring fresh water to the city. It is due out 2015-2016.
Recently, they have been involved in public art projects around the city such as the St. Clair Superior “Year Of” animal sculptures celebrating the Chinese New Year. They did 1 tiger (2010), 2 rabbits (2011) and 2 dragons (2012).
In 2013 the Dumms installed their 60 foot long mural entitled “A Love Letter to Cleveland” in Ohio City (a few doors down from the West Side Market, facing its parking lot) with the monetary assistance of a Creative Workforce Fellowship granted through CPAC/CAC. They have also participated in numerous group shows locally throughout the years.
Visit over 28 of their individual galleries at their website www.dummart.com
Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheDumms
or individually at https://www.facebook.com/laura.dumm for Laura
or Gary at https://www.facebook.com/gary.dumm.7
Gary & Laura Dumm