A Dirty Mind, Phrenology Recapitulates Scatology by Don Stewart

A Dirty Mind, Phrenology Recapitulates Scatology by Don Stewart

Based on the widely accepted premise that a person’s skull conformed to the proportions of its contents, the antiquated discipline of Phrenology purported to be able to assess the character of an individual by carefully measuring the subject’s cranial topography. Each area of the brain was believed to reflect a specific aspect of one’s personality; palpating the “bumps” on a person’s head therefore revealed their basic emotional makeup.

Modern medical science has managed to refute many of the assumptions of the phrenological tradition, noting that mental content is often much easier to explain through psychological analysis and statistical evaluation of prevalent social standards and practices.

In other words, you don’t need to feel the bumps on a man’s head to know what’s on his mind.

About The Artist

Don Stewart takes a humorously intellectual approach to art. The artist’s preferred medium, a holdover from his academic past, accounts for the crisp detail in his whimsical drawings. Ballpoint lines bring out tones and textures unattainable with conventional pen and ink; the black and white renderings come alive with hidden images and visual puns.

Stewart earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology & Art from Birmingham-Southern College, where he enrolled in drawing classes under Raymond McMahon and Robert Shelton as a break from a strict premedical curriculum – unaware of the impact they would eventually have on his life. Here he discovered Arcimboldo’s classic substitutional paintings, M.C. Escher’s masterful tessellations, and the ingenious composite renderings and sculptures of classmate Tom Wilkes. Stewart also experimented independently with techniques in ballpoint pen drawing – especially after the instrument was banned from Shelton’s classroom.

He continued to sketch as a hobby during medical school in Birmingham, AL and throughout his surgical internship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. There, in addition to keeping a 24-hour call schedule, Dr. Stewart managed to win awards for short fiction and poetry, and successfully published his first two composite drawings. After a year of resident training, the pen finally proved mightier than the scalpel, and the young doctor’s creative interests gained the upper hand. He finished his internship, earned his medical license, and promptly turned his full attention to drawing.

For the past twenty-five years he has made his living as a self-styled Visual Humorist, hammering words and pictures together at the DS Art Studio Gallery in Birmingham.

The DS Art Studio Gallery
2805 Crescent Avenue
Homewood, AL 35209
1 (800) 372-7864 (Continental US Only)
1 (205) 802-4700

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