Paul Volker
About My Work

      Humor is a great thing, and it has long established itself in fiction, in theatre and cinema, in poetry, and in the graphic medium of cartoons. But when it comes to fine art, humor faces many challenges, and it is in meeting those challenges that I find my inspiration.
      Unlike "whimsical" pictures, which rely merely on predictably delightful imagery such as a child's first haircut, or a pony playfully galloping through a firld of daisies, what is essential to humor is contrast, something out of place. One is not supposed to get a pie in the face, and that is why it is regarded funny when it occurs. Humor awakens the mind.
      In my paintings, the humor which derives from this contrast becomes part of the visual composition just as the horizontals contrast with verticles, the verticles with the diagonals, colors contrast with each other, and light contrasts with dark. For me, the goal is to use humor itself as I would use another color or another shape, so that the subject and composition are inseparable. When this inseparability is acheived, the work can effectively convey some meaning to the viewer.