About Graphic Details

Graphic Details:  Confessional Comics by Jewish Women is a groundbreaking touring exhibition that originated at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco in October of 2010. It is currently on view at the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery of the Washington, DC JCC until September 3, 2012.

The show has enjoyed successful runs at New York’s Yeshiva University Museum and in Toronto, where it was presented at the Gladstone Hotel by the Koffler Centre of the Arts Off-Site Program.  It will open at Portland’s Oregon Jewish Museum in October 2012.  The Forward, the national Jewish newspaper, is official sponsor of Graphic Details.

Graphic Details provides the first in-depth look at a unique and prolific niche of graphic storytelling – Jewish women’s autobiographical comics.

While the influential role of Jews in cartooning has long been acknowledged, the role of Jewish women in shaping the medium is largely unexplored. This exhibition of original drawings, full comic books and graphic novels, presents the powerful work of eighteen international artists whose intimate, confessional work has influenced the world of comics over the last four decades, creating an entirely new genre.

Spotlighting the raw, revealing voices of Jewish women and their singular presence in graphic storytelling, the exhibition illuminates the intersection of experiences that make these diaristic comics so compelling. By turns funny, outrageous, poignant and embarrassingly intimate, the works in Graphic Details reflect the artists’ individual journeys, refracted through a distinctively Jewish lens in a pop-culture art form. Some bare their bodies. Some expose their psyches. All are fearless about sex, romance, politics, body functions, experiences, emotions, and desires.

Many of the original artworks on display have never been exhibited in public until now.  Artists run the gamut from pioneering Wimmen’s Comix and Twisted Sisters artists of the 1970s and 1980s to the superstars of the new generation.

Graphic Details is co-curated by Michael Kaminer, a New York journalist and collector whose December 2008 story on confessional comics in the Forward, the national Jewish newspaper, provided the impetus for the show. His collaborator, Sarah Lightman, is an artist, curator and arts journalist based in London who is researching a PhD at The University of Glasgow on autobiography in comics.

Read about the show in Jewesses with Attitude, Toronto Life, Canadian Jewish News, Sequential Tart, ShalomLife, SF Weekly, Chicago Jewish News, The Toronto Star, The Forward, J Weekly, the Bay Area Reporter, and Haaretz.

Thanks to the Koffler Centre of the Arts for text.

(Cartoon: Diane Noomin, from “Baby Talk”, 1995)

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