Monday, 24 July 2017

"The Art of the Future"

"In our iconic society we look for meaningful images" in the words of Ramsés Morales Izquierdo, who teaches and lectures on cartooning on top of drawing them.

We were messaging this morning, the day of the trial of Musa Kart in Turkey. Cartooning is seen as a distraction and a danger, when it has the potential of which our day is in dire need. Our time and age will go down in history among those of decline of which everyone of the aftermath will shake his or her head in shame. A sentiment, which tends to encompass its artworks also. Cartoons on the other hand will be an entirely different story for their energy and critique, openly thinking and saying what their contemporaries had no time for or refused to do so.

The Statue of Liberty is one such example. She was laid out in the era of Napoleon III in which sculptures were piled with sugary detailing from wedding cake territory. The Statue of Liberty, however, was to be based upon the principle for all good drawing: The simplicity of the line.

Simplicity implies knowledge, as its artist, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi underlined in his 1885-book The Statue of Liberty enlightening the World. A sketch in its rapidity is a concentration of what the hand of the artist has seen and understood. It encompasses the world, baring it all, omitting nothing.

"The model, like the design, should have a summarized character, such as one would give to a rapid sketch", wrote Bartholdi.

His work became an icon for the centuries as a moral compass. Ink, paper and ideas are the components of a good drawing as Ramsés says, keeping vigil with his pen.

Ramsés Morales Izquierdo, July 15, 2017.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Ramsés Morales Izquierdo and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Antonio Rodríguez García, The Reunion, July 10, 2017.

He would seek out the other at the dinner table, having nothing in common with his allies of which there were aplenty at the recent G20 Summit.

They have no verbal language between them, but then they have no need for any. Putin's translator was at hand that evening.

The serenity of their second meeting of the day, the official one not being enough. Undisclosed till now that it took place, as is it unknown what they exchanged, in full view, but out of earshot of the other dinner attendants.

Those inner secrets from the one, who cannot hold back and the one, who knows how to take advantage of any information he obtains in an hour-long one-on-one+translator.

Bear in mind. Ulay sought out Marina Abramovic during her performance The Artist Is Present at MOMA in 2010, and we were all in tears at the two former lovers sitting across each other in full view. But then, Ulay would go on to sue Abramovic for his share of their royalties from their years together. Ah, love!

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Antonio Rodríguez García and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Dictator

Erdogan bellowed out recently that we should look up what the word dictator means and with due regret for our tardiness, let us turn to the Encyclopedia Cartooniensa for immediate clarification:

Vasco Gargalo, The Guillotine, July 17, 2017.

"Dictator" derives from dictare, i.e. laying down authoritatively, or the verbal equivalent of an execution.

Vasco Gargalo lets Erdogan's face mirror itself in the blade, giving it a sculptural dimension, which is one of his fortes as a cartoonist. He creates for the startle of what should be the softness of a human face while the shadowing is in fact a property of the metal. The reflection of which is further set off by the texturing of the wooden structure.

Erdogan's eyes are closed to the consequences of his authoritarianism. Dictators can be recognized on their spinal deficiency. They absolutely refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

So, Vasco Gargalo presents Erdogan with blood on his forehead. Erdogan was and is the one dictating that the cartoonist Musa Kart has been imprisoned since November 2016.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Vasco Gargalo and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Monday, 10 July 2017

"They should look up what dictator means!"

- Erdogan burst out during die ZEIT's interview with him last week, of which the former answered his own exclamation mark by willfully misunderstanding, rephrasing what he was asked, insisting he was catching the journalist in double standards.

This is what he looks like, a dictator.

A cartoon of the revelatory kind, so clear in thought and yet not seen before of man as the center of the world. The outlook that once was of man as the conqueror and the overwhelmed alike forming the link between the divine and earth, creating possibility by way of aspiration, daring to question and seek out. 

No violence is before us. Yet, the most violent act is taking place, impeding everything within the human.

The hand of someone, who locks up the cartoonist Musa Kart and according to his own calculating, Erdogan did during the interview, the cartoonist is classified a terrorist.

Firuz Kutal, November 6, 2016.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Firuz Kutal and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Friday, 7 July 2017

The Trumpian Vessel

He is of sagging skin now, Putin. 

It is one thing playing strongman in the nude, the physicality of time is another and dermacartooning is the art of peeling off that last layer of intended hiding. 

Derma speaks at once of the hiding and the hide itself, and in the experience of man, hides are something to be peeled off of their prey. 

Which in turn is a description of the incision of the cartoonist's pen of which Riber Hansson grants the revealed one to show off the prey of his own.

Riber Hansson, The Source, June 12, 2017.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Riber Hansson and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The Trumpian Legacy

He is so much noise. Much of it calculated to divert attention from his actions.

The silence is all the scarier. The silence we are not supposed to have to give us time to look further to know what is taking place.

The calm look of the cartoonist on that face, excluding the noise of the Trumpian colors. Antonio Rodríguez García lays before us an examination of the pen of classical proportions from back when corpses were used to get beyond the human surface.

The incision to the frontal lope is the river, which runs through the part of the brain in which the personality is formed, including mental processes such as memory and decision-making. 

The incision if performed shall be the condition of the US.

Antonio Rodríguez García, Trumpcare, June 30. 2016.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Antonio Rodríguez Garciá and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

"At the end of the day we all live on this earth together"

Photo and video: Jacob Crawfurd/

In late May Khalid Wad Albaih was in Copenhagen as the keynote speaker at the conference Communicating Worlds (2) by Timbuktu Fonden. Below is the video on our conversation on the stage, his words poignant and precise as always:

Below are but two excerpts of his words. Little Omran Daqneesh in the ambulance in Syria was a symptom of our social media with Khalid reflecting on own principles as a cartoonist of getting caught in the race of keeping up:

"I realized that news became my fashion. What is hot today. Omran is hot today. Tomorrow is something else. We can't do something on Omran today and tomorrow, this is left behind. The media and I find myself running with them in this hamster-wheel, so am I creating change or am I just part of this ongoing take away-news? What am I doing?"

Khalid Wad Albaih, August 18, 2016.

"Because I work on social media, because of the fact that you have to be now, you have to be there now, you have to think what you will do now, because nobody takes time to reflect. It is all about now.

If you notice, there are keywords. Oh, the refugee crisis, so now everything has to be about the refugee crisis. You have to write and you have to draw about the refugee crisis. What is the refugee crisis nobody knows, but this is a refugee crisis. For whom? Europe is taking a lot of refugees. No, actually the largest refugee camp is in Kenya, you know, this is not real. These things are just words. ISIS is bad. This is how people think of them, when you think about something, ISIS bad. It is literally like a Donald Trump tweet".

Note Khalid's use of tempo and repetition. His words are a piece of poetry, making that very stress come alive in his listeners that is our public life and its lack of memory.

Khalid Wad Albaih, March 26, 2015.
"I did a lot of flags during the Arab Spring,
trying to reflect the real identity of it.
Flags as a whole is a really interesting subject".
We need to combine movement with memory, as he argues. The other side of that spectrum, memory without movement is exemplified in the importance laid on national borders, acting as if they had always been around, while in reality they are but straight lines drawn by a British general yesteryear.

Within shortly, said lines become deadly weapons in the hands of insisting nationalists. With which Khalid stated his particularly beautiful final words:

"As humans we should really understand that we move. Things change. History is very important just because whoever is here now wasn't here 200 years ago. This will not last forever. I think people should look at humanity, not look at man-made issues"

The khartoons shown are courtesy of Khalid Wad Albaih /

The photo and video are courtesy of Jacob Crawfurd

White Wednesdays

Marilena Nardi, June 21. 2017.

#whitewednesdays is a protest on social media in which Iranian women are reacting against being forced to cover their hair. They either wear a white headscarf or abandon it altogether. 

Social media are their means of doing so in public while not able to do so in their physical sphere and let us support their voices with two angles of their protest: The necessity of taking their step and the peacefulness of their means of civil disobedience.

Marilena Nardi has drawn a woman all sharp angles and deep shadows to underline the opposition to being a shadow in all black. Her hair has turned out be the megaphone for her quest. She is not violent nor violating anything; on the contrary she is defining her own boundaries. It is not easy, nor without pain, but a movement of necessity.

The White Wednesday women are gaining their own wings as drawn by Mana Neyestani, the movement of which is running all through her body unraveling her entanglement. Note also, how straight lines turn out to be nothing of the sort, even the black of her former confining veil is gently floating in the background. The women have chosen the most peaceful of protests, while taking the first step to regain their dignity.

Mana Neyestani, June 21. 2017.

The cartoons shown are courtesy of Marilena Nardi and Mana Neyestani and must not be reproduced without their permission.

The cartoon by Marilena Nardi forms part of the cartoon campaign in support of the Iranian women by United Sketches.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

"One cartoon at a time"

Detail of screenshot from the Oslo Freedom Forum video.

A close-up of the smiling Ecuadorean President-Elect and the cartoonist who drew him: Bonil telling about his professional life constantly under the threat of the WE SEE YOU! from a presidency on the verge of the despotic, if not already fully so.

Bonil was speaking at this year's Oslo Freedom Forum and it is as always heart wrenching hearing his words. He would never but stress the humorous elements of his situation, but it is one of ceaseless harassment and censorship, never knowing what will be the next from the President.

Bonil, The Breath of Censorship, April 28, 2015.

The drawn President-Elect is terrifyingly similar to the one who is about to leave office when seen up close. Correa has a set row of teeth, but they share the small chin within a heavy lower face. There is not much to hope for and everything to work against.

Bonil speaks the softest and clearest of Spanish, but if you prefer English subtitles, they can be added with a click on the video. In case it does not, a subtitled version can be seen here:

A particularly worrying aspect of Correa's regime has been the weekly assembly, in which he would be calling upon everyone to take part in harassing critical voices. "Visiting" and "mocking" them, as he constantly puts it.

Those are utterly dangerous callings. Humans have been lynched for less through the ages and this is a strategy on a national level under the guise of off-duty entertainment.

Screenshot from the Oslo Freedom Forum video.
The strategy is all the more obvious from the fact of Correa introducing a body of armed civilians with direct inspiration from the present Venezuelan regime. A civil guard with the authority to thrash adversaries. It is sickening even writing that sentence. It purports that the population has been made into a foreign enemy in a manner, in which not even conflicting countries should be assessing one another.

For the protection of authorities, as Bonil has titled his cartoon, establishing who installed said armed thugs once and for all and in Oslo asking us all to being vigilant as to the situation in Ecuador.

As for himself he will keep drawing in spite of the harassment to his person "one cartoon at a time".

Bonil, May 2, 2017.
Note the strong delineation of each of the faces behind the decision
- for us to recognize each of them from this cartoon forward.

The cartoons shown are courtesy of Bonil and must not be reproduced without his permission.

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