In 1920s Germany, a photographer named August Sander did a very German thing: he published a catalog of the German people. Like a field guide to birds, its subjects ranged from bankers to beggars, posed in their work clothes. Although initially well received, it was banned when Hitler came to power because Sander's people didn't look like Der Fuhrer's idea of a "master race." Fortunately, no one ever mistook New Orleanians for a "master race," so Bunny Matthews' drawings, The People of New Orleans From A to Z, are available for all to see. Rendered in his traditional post-psychedelic baroque caricature style, Astrologer captures the zoned out gaze of a bejeweled lady in a turban as she peers into the wonders and terrors of the future. The Drunk, by contrast, sees little beyond his martini, but The Fisherman, depicted with the troubled, oil rig-studded waters of the Gulf behind him, clutches a redfish as proudly as the father of a new newborn babe who worries about the future.
The People of New Orleans from A to Z: Cartoons by Bunny Matthews, Through April 19, Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia St. 522-1999.