by Amrit Paul
Don't get me wrong - I used to love berlin-artparasites. Used to, when it made sense.
(Now, if you're thinking, "When did it ever?", well, I knew you would.)
Of late, it has become pretty vague and monotonous, and if you'd followed the fall through, you must've noticed something was off. It is, to quote a friend, " too high school now."
While there's nothing wrong with a page being too "high school" (I mean, we've all been there - FINISH SCHOOL, CHILDREN), it limits art. You can't feel the connect between images and writings anymore. Or maybe, I can't. I used to. Just as bad.
(If you're thinking, "haha 'it limits art' naki, pleb saala", I knew you would.)
In its (much) better days, it used to be curated by Jovanny Ferreyra, who sadly didn't own the page. Due to some ideological differences, he left the reins, and boy did it go astray.
Upside, however, is that he now has his own page, The Artidote (parasites, antidote, geddit?).
While that's all about why berlin-artparasites doesn't make much sense (to me) anymore,
(and why Artidote might fill that void, and Nihilist Memes would stare at it),
that's only half the claim.
Now, for some Joan Cornellà, and a smile you've seen. Somewhere.
This isn't about comparing art appreciation pages with comics,
but about the highly shared works-of-art in web culture, and on my News Feed.
Joan Cornella is a Spanish cartoonist, known for his colourful dark humour. Comments on his post range from "I don't know why I follow his page", to "I'm saving money on drugs by visiting this page".
I guess we'd all be somewhere in between. Or not.
Almost all his comics have six dialogue-less panels, and what is characteristic of his works is the use of bright, cheery tones found in picture books for children. In watercolour.
And then there's the smile.
He's absurd, on the first look. And on the fifth.
And while nothing might seem to make any sense, you'd find it funny.
Gross, maybe, but funny. And then it'll make sense.
There's an abundance of deformed faces, and their places. There's blood, or the lack thereof.
And boners. Then some more blood.
But all that in colours soothing to your eyes.
The brilliance lies in the messages they convey.
This one, for instance, is pretty clear - how we place beauty over...yeah, you got it. I know.
Commentary on the glamorous little people making shitty music and getting away with it.
One could think of so many names.
No, this isn't about explaining every comic. Truth is, I probably cannot. But I'd laugh all the same.
His use of gore, or disturbing implications makes the thought linger on a little longer, and in effect, the message too.
Joan's style might remind you of another guy closer home - Aadarsh Balak.
While the way he draws is similar, with stoic/calm faces and colours, this is rooted more in anarchism, and the hallowed word : Swag.
इल्लुमिनाटी कनफर्म्ड |
Now, there's a possibility that one is looking "too deep" into these comics.
(If you're thinking of that Adele reference, I'll have to show you t̶h̶e̶ ̶d̶o̶o̶r̶ ̶ the calendar.)
Joan himself has gone on record to say (if you understand Italian):
"I do not care to criticize the fact, I just want to make you laugh."
And that's what makes him all the more brilliant.
I believe art has two stages - perception and depiction, with imagination cloaking them.
What is depicted sometimes takes precedence over what is perceived.
Otherwise, it's the other way round. That's where subtlety comes to play.
And to portray subtlety with gore/dicks [not गोरे dicks] and to not let the latter grab your attention for long takes merit.
Anyone can make dick jokes, like I did. But what really makes you think?
He's absurd alright, surreal, maybe, but what really shows is what affected him as a part of this society of earthlings. And how he finds humour in places others have found it too,
but he does it better. And that's how it is.
Art is a matter of belief, and
funny is limited in this world.