Here's (above) some examples of Pre-Colombian Inca sculpture. So far as I know the Incas were the world's first funny cartoonists, only their medium was pottery and sculpture, rather than paper. The L. A. County Museum has a terrific collection of these funny sculptures but it doesn't get much attention, maybe because the items are so tiny...pocket-size in some cases. Even in the Inca Golden Age officially sanctioned art was serious and large and the funny art that people actually enjoyed was small and portable.
[IMPORTANT NOTE: If the samples shown above are authentic then a major re-assessment of Inca art is in order, but I don't want to mislead anyone. I got these images from the internet by searching for things like "funny Inca art." The internet being what it is, it's possible that my sources threw Mayan and Aztec pieces into the mix without proper attribution, or that the time of origin was screwed up. I accept the pieces above as authentically pre-Colombian Inca because they're consistent with the humorous style of the curated pieces I encountered at the County Museum Inca exhibit.]
The reason I mention the Incas is to demonstrate that major trends in art are still, even today, neglected by historians. Even when good art is created under their noses historians fail to notice. Why isn't the Smithsonian beating down John K's door, begging for drawings? Why is the work of recent Mexican folk artists ignored?
I don't know about you, but I find Mexican masks like this one (above) to be hilarious. Artful, too.
Haw! Why aren't museums collecting these!??
Wow! I can't believe how nuanced the expressions on some of these masks are!
Some of the latest Mexican masks suffer from being too slick. Even so, they're not without interest. I'm guessing they're made to sell to tourists, but they succeed in spite of that.