He’s surviving? 2017
ink on paper
Dimensions (H x W x D)
21 x 29.7 cm
HE'S SURVIVING? / WE FOUND A JOURNALIST FROM THE SAME BLOOD GROUP
City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection
Cartoonist Ron Tandberg (1943–2018) was commissioned to create a suite of illustrations for the exhibitio 'Ink in the Blood', an examination of newspaper life in Melbourne. Tandberg was one of the most beloved political cartoonists in Australia, his work appearing mainly in the Age from 1972 until his death.
Of the eight drawings Tandberg produced for the exhibition, six were displayed on the walls, and one was in the 'Ink in the Blood' catalogue. These related to topics including changing newspaper technologies; the ‘Letters to the Editor’ page; staff cuts at newspaper offices; newsboys and delivery trucks; drinking culture among journalists and editors; and the increasingly reliance on the internet and consequent changing perceptions of history.
Tandberg’s work, in general and particularly for the exhibition, typically takes a wry view that does not privilege those in power, even when those might be the cartoonist’s own employers. His dogged independence is always evident as is his clear-sighted perceptiveness in cutting to the chase of an issue: the impact of technology on the human element in newspapers, for example. His ability to inject humour into otherwise grim or despairing scenarios is irrepressible; always, the irony of a situation is evident through both text and visual compositions.