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Showing posts from February, 2015

"Figuration is an important tool"

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In the first of two blogposts dedicated to Darvin Rodríguez in his own words, we learned of his determination to create difference rather than decoration. That the capacity to be creator of change is inherent in art.

To this end he implements figuration. Not figuration in a calming sense of the recognizable, but a figuration constantly experimented with and taken to its limits. The latter even literally so when the limbs of the worker are barely able to stick together. Seams bursting, where mending have been attempted, fabric erupting into threads revealing the nothingness beyond. And right there in the bursting and the revealing an understanding is jump-started of the slavery of the working conditions.

Below Darvin Rodríguez explains how he choses specific techniques for the specific work. In Personajes de Acción his figures transgresses the comic album frames into which they have been drawn, exemplifying how they as art are confronting us on how our world is organized. Their intenti…

"There are those of us who believe in an art that can be aggressive"

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At the exhibition Tro, Håb og Overgreb (Faith, Hope and Abuse) arranged by Ulandssekretariatet (The LO/FTF Council) last year we had the pleasure of taking a closer look at the art of Darvin Rodríguez on this blog. The exhibition has been extended and is now being shown the Town Hall in Copenhagen, which is the perfect opportunity to meet the art by Darvin Rodríguez through his own words.
Below is the first of two blogposts on the interview with Darvin Rodríguez by José Victor Aguilar Guillen while preparing for the exhibition and it is with great delight that I have been permitted by Darvin Rodríguez and Ulandssekretariatet to feature it here.
Darvin Rodríguez masterfully unites idea and expression, the latter of which we shall focus on in the second blogpost; the focal point of the present one is his call for art taking responsibility, or as he so superbly puts it: The importance of art as aggression:


BY DARVIN RODRíGUEZ


I find inspiration for the content of my works such as in an …

Chimeral Disintegration

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Texture is the very first feeling at seeing Oleksiy Kustovsky's works. There is texture through color, naturally. Each color tone is modulated everywhere on the picture plane creating a shimmering surface.
And then there is his use of the line. It has that classical density to it of a graphical work, delivered with a free flowing hand which adds movement to the composition.



The doubling of techniques is mirrored on the pictorial level. Oleksiy Kustovsky defines figuration in layers in which each element turns out to contain another layer of imagery. At closer inspection the scales of the snail is created through tiny human sculls just like the hammer and sickle is the plug and cord that feeds the iron. 
Which in turn leads to that we as beholders are dissectors, digging into the composition. The layer within is a direct commentary on the one before it, creating a back story or revealing an aspiration. Dissecting is the relevant word here, since the image literally begins to crumbl…

You are...

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The wilderness of pointing fingers of all formats as if of a mythical Middle Ages thicket through which the hero, a.k.a. the cartoonist, has to navigate. 
And the cartoonist battles on. He is the only one not complaining, accusing or clamoring. He is mapping the absurdity of his working conditions just the way he maps the absurdities of the world every time he puts pen to paper. 



The cartoon shown is courtesy of Fadi Abou Hassan and must not be reproduced without his permission.


"Am I the only one?"

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That small space of empty picture plane on the top left is what bespeaks the great artist.

Hardly detectable it underlines how The Entrapped is the epitome of existing as opposed to living in the Sartrian sense and since this is not a reposed calm, may we present Khalid Wad Albaih in company with a new Open Letter by Mariam Toure:




BY MARIAM TOURE


Am I the only one? Am I the only one to be frustrated whenever we address ourselves as a divided continent? Am I the only one to feel melancolical every time I notice that some have understood nothing of the words of Joyce Banda, who said "The true leader is someone who sets the common good before his or her own personal interests"? Am I the only one? Am I only one to see how my heart bleeds when I look at our plundered wealth without anyone lifting a finger? Am I then the only one to whom it is revolting to see that our heads of states have understood nothing about "the Union is strength"? I implore you to tell me that I am not…

"Massacre has one voice"

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The depth within his open mouth, his eyes calling out in desperation meeting nothing to rest upon for help. Every muscle tensed, his whole body is one with his roar of anguished and angry desperation. 



Above is Laocoon struggling against the snakes commanded by Athena to have him elimininated. The plastic arts only have so little of movement having to contain its all in the one moment. It works in space to quote Lessing, who lived so much later than Antiquity and found a face distorted in pain an abomination. In the arts the protagonists ought to be suffering nobly, according to him, thus making art an aesthetic matter rather than an ethic one.
Laocoon roared in pain in Virgil's version, and cartooning is an art form rebelling against that noble division of aesthetics from ethics. While humor is very much the instrument in juxtapositioning stances or situations; juxtaposition is as powerful a tactics in the matter of the most painful of subjects. In this case on the negligence, w…

Disturbance and Defiance

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Following the kidnapping and murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic fishermen by the IS-militia in Libya, the cartoonists have turned their anger into a carefully undermining the symbolic expression of the IS.

Fadi Abou Hassan has made a call out for the freedom that he and his contemporaries have been fighting for; in his own words:

"Where is our freedom?
That is the truth in the Middle East now, unfortunately...ISIS kidnapped our revolutions against dictatorship. ISIS kidnapped our Arab Spring in Syria... Libya.... Iraq... etc."

And yet, in her state of chock the Statue of Liberty manages to disturb and maintain an enlightened corner on the black surface, while the Shahada, i.e. the Islamic creed that the IS has applied to their flag, has been substituted by two crossed swords. A nod to the Jolly Roger in the stead of a religious allegiance of any kind. IS is violence and nothing but.
The day after the killings, Doaa Eladl portrayed defiance. She swapped the two rows of men, lettin…

Plato for Beginners

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The TRUTH was found in a comics album. Naturally. Now the time has come to dissecting Plato and as with locating the Truth no one surpasses Ivar Gjørup, who has partaken in the complete and just completed new translation into Danish of Plato's works. The drawings are translated into English underneath each panel, and please click each drawing to enjoy the finer details of that man with that rounded nose as we have known him since Antiquity and his protégée eager to know. So, without further ado:



BY IVAR GJØRUP
Plato for Beginners
- In 12 steps!



1.
- Hello, my little friends, my name is Socrates. I know nothing
This I now want to share with you

2.


3.
-That went quite well, I think...
- Eh?
His public is shouting: Bravo! NOTHING could be better! Much better!






4.
- I understandnothing?
- funny coincidence....

5.
- Actually Platon wrote nothing! He says so himself in his Second Letter*

(* Volume 6, page 51, 2.314c: "There is no work by Plato and there never will be...")

6.
- Whi…

On The Relativity of Absolutes

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All That Is True Can Be Drawn

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More than 100 congolese, including women and children were killed in the course of a month in the province Beni in eastern regions of DR Congo in the most barbaric way possible and the explanation is to be found in the dictionaries: Genocide.
Such were the words by Thembo Muhindo Kashauri alias Thembo Kash on a region in which the congolese army, as many as 10 batallions according to his information, along with UN troops were already present. The tension that arised in the aftermath was thus a double one: The killing and the absence of the protection promised, letting it happen.
The identity of the perpetrator in the second drawing above is on the other hand not disclosed. He could be any of a couple of suspected groupings. The protagonist is the meeting of the anger of the slain with the intent of going through with it. In the first drawing above the lines of the pen are cutting across, the ink not having dried into a unified plane of color. The streaming constitutes a landscape of …
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