Showing posts from June, 2015

Still Life of 2015

The still life has been with us since Antiquity. The seemingly simple subject rendered with an almost tactile realism juxtaposing soft with solid surfaces. Of the latter ones the glittery surfaces such as glass and metals is where the artist gets to show off his mastery of light being reflected or thrown back.

As simple as they may seem the objects before us are anything but solid in meaning. They are carriers of the fragility of life, the brevity of it and the sudden violence with which it may suddenly be ended. Placed before us they are reaching us at our most physical being sensing the pain.

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

The Making of a Prime Minister

Yesterday Lars Løkke Rasmussen (I cannot believe I have just written his name on my blog. What the world has come to) gained back the title of prime minister of my country.


But then a cartoonist whose country is in flames, who has been imprisoned and tortured, and who managed to flee and seek political asylum, recognized what has just taken place. A prime minister about to create a government depending on right wingers of the kind, who gladly look on while humans undergo exactly that: War, bombing, prison and torture while making certain there shall be no possibility of seeking refuge.

So let us take a look of Fadi Abou Hassan taking a firm look of that very person, he had till now only heard of, not seen before. Fadi first drew this:

He has a certain innocence, he is actually looking younger, only the bags under his eyes are ringed in as are the pupils of his eyes. Rings as in someone thirsting for power, ready to cooperate with anyone to gain dominance.

The very same drawing …

Copenhagen Comics on the Drying Line

This weekend marked the fifth month since the massacre at Charlie Hebdo and Copenhagen Comics paid homage to the five murdered cartoonists by exhibiting their portraits, drawn by five of their Danish colleagues. 
To underline their being there with the rest of us, another exhibition was growing underneath them, this one by Annette Carlsen, who was walking among the guests this year too translating onto paper what caught her eye. As always one had to be quick to discover her in action such as here scanning the audience listening to Art Spiegelman:

The art of Annette Carlsen lies in characterizing persons, who may be without any outward movement and still we do not focus on any specificity of their noses or lips. We sense their inward emotion, listening in and yet not quietly doing so. They each have a personal reason for being there, maybe an agenda even, since Art Spiegelman is someone we have all been examined in in high school/gymnasium around these parts and we have discussed him …

The Revolt of the Brain

Let us mark the anniversary of IS/Daesh in cartooning by a protesting brain. Not ours, but the brain of an IS follower; a brain tired of not being used.

Judging by the red line across the apple of the eyes, the brain is only too right; there is no one within. He is as absent of life as the blood of his victims.

Since it is an anniversary we ought to toast a wish: May the brain win.

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

The Ping Awards 2015

At this weekend's Copenhagen Comics Niels and the creator of Cowboy Henk Herr Seele were playing around to great pictorial effect.

Henk is a comic's character, who is as literal in his definition of the world as he is drawn. When reading Kierkegaard, Henk is of course grapping the head of the philosopher and reading off his brain. Henk is never short of a solution to the obstacles he is met with, which makes for a clear-cut graphical effect on the page furthered by a surface of solid colors.

Henk personifies the state of immanence in Kierkegaard's terminology, undressing the wacky ways of civilization while he himself remains unperturbed. Reading Either Or might turn out to be his most dangerous enterprise to date, putting his immanence at risk, but since he is reading with one eye closed, his brain shall probably remain untouched by the duality laid before him.

Cowboy Henk is finally to be found in Danish too, for which Herr Seele was awarded the very same evening at this y…

Atena and the Law of the Jungle

Atena Farghadani has been convicted to 7 and a half years of imprisonment (the article says 12 years and nine months, we keep getting varying reports) on the charges of "acting against the security of the state", "spreading propaganda against the system", "insulting members of parliament through her painting skills" and "insulting the Supreme Leader and the Iranian revolutionary guards".

The usual suspects in terms of legal allegations on behalf of a despotic regime.

This time directed at a young artist in Iran for speaking up on the right of women. She is now imprisoned for the second time after speaking up on the barbarity she had experienced in prison. Her description alone of how she attempted to create a sheet of paper to work on by flattening used paper cups, only to be found out and seriously punished for it is heart-wrenching. This is an artist constantly under surveillance to deprive her of her voice, even when trying her utmost to find…
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