Indepth Arts News: |
"Duck lithographs - Marko Leppala's collection"
2001-04-12 until 2001-07-15
Helsinki City Art Museum
On April 12, 2001, an exhibition on the work of the legendary cartoonist Carl Barks will open
to the public at the Helsinki City Art Museums Tennis Palace galleries. The exhibition
comprises some 70 lithograph prints of Barks duck paintings, two original paintings and also
drawings. The works belong to the unique collection of Marko Leppala from Helsinki.
Carl Barks made his career first at the Disney studios and, from 1942, as a cartoonist for
Western Publishing which had a license to publish Disney comics. In the early 1940s Donald
Duck was still a lazy, incoherently quacking hothead. Barks turned Donald Duck into world?s
most famous feathered animal and gave him the personality we know so well. He is
everything, he is everybody; he makes the same mistakes that we all make. He is sometimes
a villain, and he is often a real good guy, and at all times he is just a blundering person like
the average human being, Barks has said. He also created Donald a place to live -
Duckburg - and other characters to accompany him, including Scrooge McDuck, Gladstone
Gander, Gyro Gearloose, the Beagle Boys, Magica de Spell, and the Junior Woodchucks.
Carl Barks began to paint ducks only after retiring in 1966. Illegal print copies of his colourful
and action-packed paintings soon began to appear on the market, and in 1976 Disney
denied Barks the use of its characters. Barks took up other motifs: Western images, fairy-tale
kings and other than Disney ducks. He regained permission to use Disney characters in
1982 when the publishing company Another Rainbow and Disney began to print signed and
numbered lithographies of Barks paintings. The originals were by then much too expensive
for ordinary fans. Today, their price has risen so high that they will undoubtedly remain in the
private collections of American millionaires.