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    This painting is a brightly colored depiction of the popular rhythm-and-blues singer Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. With its jagged lines, bold shapes, and flaming colors, it resembles a circus poster. Hawkins, who stands with his arms and legs outstretched, looks like a monster or a comic superhero. Can you think of other comic superheroes?


    Click on the items in the description below.

    Artist Karl Wirsum loves jokes and puns. These prehistoric-looking green jays are a funny pun on Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s name.

    Big, black blobs of sweat fly off of Hawkins’ body as he sings and moves across the stage.

    This little figure is called Armpitrubber. He wears a suit of red and black rubber to protect himself from the drops of sweat flying through the air.

    This bright yellow line might represent the energy Hawkins creates with his fast-paced dancing and the loud sound of his music

    Karl Wirsum. Screamin' Jay Hawkins, 1968. Acrylic. The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund, 1969.248


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