At the heart of Michael Leunig’s work lies the idea of the holy fool – a character who does not conform to social norms of behaviour because of a peculiar mental disposition or as a deliberate choice, but is regarded as having a compensating divine blessing or inspiration. It could be said that the holy fool is the protagonist in most of Michael’s paintings and cartoons.
As wonderful as his cartoons are, in Holy Fool we see so much more of the artistic expression of Michael Leunig – from drawings and paintings to prints and sculpture, collected together for the first time. Holy Fool is a must-have volume for curious art lovers and for the legion of Leunig fans.
Michael Leunig is an Australian cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet. His commentary on political, cultural and emotional life, which spans more than forty years, has often explored the idea of an innocent and sacred personal world.
The fragile ecosystem of human nature and its relationship to the wider natural world is a related and recurrent theme. His newspaper work appears regularly in the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
Leunig describes his approach as regressive, humorous, messy, mystical, primal and vaudevillian-producing work that is open to many interpretations. It has been widely adapted in education, music, theatre, psychotherapy and spiritual life.
Michael Leunig’s Holy Fool is published by Allen & Unwin and is available from all leading book-sellers.
Image: Holy Fool book cover