'Another Fine Mess!' - A signed, limited edition lithographic print by Chris Orr.
"I conceived of a sequel to my 2020 lithograph “Crisis? What Crisis?” The feeling I had through the year of Covid was that each day brought some new near disaster. I started drawing after looking again at the film clips of Laurel and Hardy getting into a car which totters, then completely disintegrates into a cloud of grey dust leaving our heroes unharmed, perplexed and bemused. The world around L & H is very fragile and yet they pass through it unscathed and only slightly ruffled. This is optimistic. Whatever the world throws at you, you can survive.
In my picture the street is a theatre. All over the place there are exits and entrances, open windows into which we can glimpse little dramas, false starts and bad ends. The narrative winds around the space lassoing ideas. The disintegrating car is only the start of it. Here comes John Gilpin shewing how he went farther than he intended and came safe home again. Here is the dare devil motorcyclist who rode backwards. Here are Vladimir and Estragon resting after waiting for Godot. There is the Pied Piper enticing the rats of different colours. North, South, East and West there is mayhem, framed in good order.My work is a portmanteau, which contains a variety of tricks. The sum total is a tapestry of near disaster. It never quite happens. To paraphrase H.L.Menken; it serves to afflict the comfortable and to comfort the afflicted.
My early appreciation for narrative Art has remained the driving force, though the formal aspects of picture making have come to play a major part. My earliest art heroes were Giles, Heath Robinson, Roland Emmett, Ronald Searle and all those wonderful children’s illustrators who enriched our lives. I went on to admire paintings in the Tate Gallery and took a particular shine to Millais “Pretty baa lambs” and “The Order of the Release”. I revelled in Turner’s “The fighting Temaraire “. For me a picture had to be like a book. In the National Gallery I became fascinated by Meindert Hobbema’s “The Avenue at Middleharnis” and it’s use of perspective and spacial structures to take the eye for a walk through the layers of the picture. Luckily, I overheard a lecturer explaining his use of double vanishing points and atmospheric distancing. It was also said that this painting was the most popular in the National Gallery, due to the fascination people felt and the pleasure of making a journey with the mind and eye."