Aristotle once said that "There is no great genius without a mixture of madness," but when he wrote those wise words thousands of years ago he surely couldn't have envisioned the proliferation of the Scottish and their impact on world culture.
Stewart K. Moore is one such Scotsman who leaves you wondering where madness begins and genius takes leave.
Of course, looking at the artwork on these pages and the cover of this magazine gives evidence of this genius, but not a few pints in any of Prague's pubs hints that the madness is anything but under control.
You might remember his much maligned comic strip in The Prague Post; "Morris Mule, taxidermist" a couple years back, or perhaps you're even in possession of the Prague Business Journal's Book of Lists with his artwork on the cover. His illustrations frequently appear in The Wall Street Journal, and we pestered this Capricorn 'til he gave us his artwork and a peak inside his dementia.
Here's what he said:
"It all started at the pub where a bunch of local artists I'd met up with hung out to drink. There was Jarda the surrealist painter; Mirek the pro-Hitlerite who painted only horses and spoke to everyone - including his friends - in an indecipherable babble of German, Czech and some other Slavic language; and the magnificently whiskered Radek, whose chief creative talents lay in having had 17 kids with 4 different women.
After a few months the copious beer-drinking was beginning to wear thin and I was itching to get down to some serious work. Petr the sculptor provided the bridge between the two. His wizened face was crowned with vinyl-like hair that looked as if it had been set with gel 15 years earlier. He was a living caricature, perfect for the work I had in mind.
One summer's day I asked him to pose smoking outside the pub, with his usual stained wooden holder between his yellowed fingers.
The deal was he'd model for me if I'd take photos of his work in return. We could hardly wedge his studio doors open for all the old broken TV sets, piles of old books and papers and other junk racked up inside.I took some pictures, but by the time they were developed those days seemed like distant history and I never went back, so he never got to see the finished work (see cover), which I entitled A Literary Figure.
I did bump into Radek, though, months later on Namesti miru, and he asked me to go for beers. I declined, partly because it was 11 a.m., partly because he had a large green snotter on his lapel. If there's one thing I'm a stickler about, it's personal hygiene.
- Stewart Kenneth Moore is an artist and actor. Raised in Scotland Working out of East Campbell Street studios he was commissioned to paint 'Gach Duil Bheo' a large format oil painting for The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall commemorating the opening of the first Celtic Connections Festival. He is the author of the satirical comic strip 'The Bozo Explosion', the surrealist newspaper cartoon 'Morris Mule, Taxidermist' and is planning a sequel to his children's iPad book 'The Day a Comet Came to Tea' written by Guy Lachlan.