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Indepth Arts News:

"Duck lithographs - Marko Leppala's collection"
2001-04-12 until 2001-07-15
Helsinki City Art Museum
Helsinki, , FI

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.


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