Monthly Archives: July 2018

Rob Rogers: Art, Censorship and Resistance

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Laurie says:

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There’s an exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in DC featuring the art of Rob Rogers, a political cartoonist who has been fired for drawing anti-Trump messages. I don’t normally write about political cartoons, but when a Pulitzer prize winning cartoonist is fired it seems very appropriate for “Living in Weimar.” It’s important that we don’t normalize censorship in these times. This is hardly the only example when we have a government that is working on shutting down information constantly.

In the Corcoran, hung prominently on the walls, are 10 finished cartoons and eight sketched ideas that had been killed in recent months by bosses at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which last month canned its political cartoonist of a quarter-century, Rob Rogers, over such satiric ideas.
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[From The Guardian] The cartoonist who lost his job at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes his searing portrayals of Donald Trump were the most likely cause of his firing. Rob Rogers was terminated on Thursday by the paper for which he had worked for 25 years, after six cartoons in a row were spiked and his employer tried to change his terms of working, he said…
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His last cartoon depicted a bloated man representing the USA, impaled on a steel girder with “trade war” written on it, waving the Stars and Stripes and saying: “Take that, Canada, Mexico and Europe.” After being fired, Rogers drew Trump shaking hands with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and saying: “You’re so talented and your people love you, look how they’re smiling!”…

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After leaving the Post-Gazette, Rogers wrote an editorial for the New York Times headlined: “I was fired for making fun of Trump.”


“When I had lunch with my new boss a few months ago,” he wrote, “he informed me that the paper’s publisher believed the editorial cartoonist was akin to an editorial writer, and that his views should reflect the philosophy of the newspaper. That was a new one to me. I was trained in a tradition in which editorial cartoonists are the live wires of a publication – as one former colleague put it, the ‘constant irritant’.”

I’ve thought and talked a lot about art and resistance in the context both of my work and the times. His work is resistance and art on the most basic level.