Jim Woodring

USA Rasmuson Fellow, 2006

I enjoy a good joke and I enjoy a good scare. I am in awe of both the sacred and the profane. I am stimulated by beauty and by the grotesque. I find profundity in cartoons and in academic drawing. So why choose? For me a work of art is most successful when it reflects emanations from the unseen world. Such a work does not wear out their welcome and does not lose its power through a too-quick assimilation of its meaning by the viewer. Sometimes I am asked why I use frogs so often in my work. To quote Little Lulu, "There's nothing prettier than a frog!" Besides, frogs are great symbols of spirituality... they sit completely still as if in meditation, but they are never caught napping. They move with breathtaking rapidity. Their amphibious nature reminds one of the goal of living in two worlds. And finally, they metamorphose, so you actually get four animals in one: tadpoles, legged tadpoles, froglets, and frogs. They make wonderful sounds. And you can eat them.

Portrait photo courtesy Ralph Gibson


Awards & Recognitions