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b. 1943, United States

R. Crumb Biography

Cartoonist Robert (‘R’) Crumb has an erotic fixation on powerful women, often displayed in the throes of exercise. ‘I was born weird’, he told The Guardian in April 2016. However, his drawing oeuvre extends far beyond renderings of strong women in the midst of a tennis match. His satirical work is legendary for its political wit, irony, incisive view of social conventions, raunchy style, disillusionment regarding consumer culture and use of racial and gender stereotypes.

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Crumb’s interest in cartoons arose when he was a child and would produce handmade comics with his brother, Charles. In 1962, he left home for Cleveland, Ohio, and started working as a greeting card artist. He then spent some time in Europe. After returning to the US, Crumb jumped around states before settling in California, where he produced comics for the magazine Yarrowstalks. There his work was cherished by audiences, and as a result he produced the standalone comic book Zap. From this, Crumb’s status as a collectable and greatly admired comic book artist was born. 

Through Zap, Crumb produced many now-notorious characters and storylines. Zap grew to a point where other leading comic book artists also began to contribute. Eventually, Crumb became a leading figure in the ‘underground movement’ of comics alongside publications such as the New York newspaper East Village Other. He also developed books such as Fritz the Cat, which was later fashioned into a movie. 

In the early 1990s, Crumb moved with his family, including his wife Aline, to France, where he continues to live today. Aline Kominsky-Crumb is a prolific comic book artist herself and is known to often collaborate with her husband. 

What truly captures Crumb’s work and makes it resonate with so many is its perspective. Its viewpoint comes from that of an outsider and someone contemptuous of mainstream socio-politics. Though Crumb has been working in this mindset for decades, he remains extremely relevant to contemporary society. With his striking, detailed, fun and inviting black-and-white drawings, Crumb is unsurprisingly often described as one of America’s greatest cartoonists. 

Jessica Douglas | Ocula | 2017

R. Crumb
featured artworks

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Too Much Information by R. Crumb contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
R. Crumb Too Much Information, 2022 Ink and correction fluid on paper
28.1 x 21.7 cm
David Zwirner
The Man Who Knew Too Much by R. Crumb contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
R. Crumb The Man Who Knew Too Much, 2021 Ink and correction fluid on paper
28.1 x 21.4 cm
David Zwirner
Fear the Invisible by R. Crumb contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
R. Crumb Fear the Invisible, 2021 Ink and correction fluid on paper
28 x 21.7 cm
David Zwirner
Untitled by R. Crumb contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
R. Crumb Untitled, 2016 Ink, correction fluid, and graphite on paper
29.2 x 22.9 cm
David Zwirner Request Price & Availability
Illustration for Jugheads by R. Crumb contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
R. Crumb Illustration for Jugheads, 2013 Watercolour on paper
26.4 x 20 cm
David Zwirner Request Price & Availability
Charlie Poole by R. Crumb contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
R. Crumb Charlie Poole, 2004 Collage, ink, and correction fluid on paper
30.5 x 30.2 cm
David Zwirner Request Price & Availability
Halt the Dechets Ultimes by R. Crumb contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
R. Crumb Halt the Dechets Ultimes, 2000 Ink, collage, and correction fluid on paper
46 x 35.6 cm
David Zwirner Request Price & Availability
Shape Up! by R. Crumb contemporary artwork works on paper
R. Crumb Shape Up!, 1982 Ink, graphite, and correction fluid on paper
7.88 x 6.75 inches
David Zwirner Request Price & Availability
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R. Crumb
recent exhibitions

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Represented by this
Ocula Member Gallery

David Zwirner contemporary art gallery in 19th Street, New York, United States
David Zwirner Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris
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