Saturday, December 26, 2009

Black Black Red

For some reason, it's impossible for me to complete a drawing in one sitting. I obsess over it for a few weeks and collects tons of images, then I eventually sketch out the basic ideas. I tend to forget about it for about a month and then come back to it later to add the ink and detail. A hint as to what I'm currently drawing:

I watched District 9 last night and it's still sitting heavily with me. I'm not sure how I feel about the movie as a whole but it made some very valid points about how the government sections off certain groups with the intention of keeping order but it ends up making things more chaotic. The whole film is a very obvious metaphor for the apartheid and racial relations in Johannesburg which seem to be far from resolved. In spite of the film's message I couldn't help but think to myself how gross and scary the aliens looked and how I wouldn't be able to bring myself to interact with them.

I thought a little bit of Nathalie Djurberg's work. She is a Swedish artist that uses detailed plasticine puppets to make stop motion animation videos. Her work is a mixture of sweet and sadistic and she frequently explores the darker aspects of humanity using this seemingly "low tech" medium. The only aspect of her work that makes me a little apprehensive is her portrayal of minorities. Most of the black people in her animations appear as if they have on black face (black skin and big red lips) and they usually wind up being the sexual play- thing of the seemingly white puppets or they terrorize the predominantly white cities and eat bananas.

still from Badain, 2006

still from In Our Own Neighborhood, 2007

I understand that this is not to be taken literally. But I don't think it's enough these days to say "This is a commentary" without understanding who it's a commentary for and with what purpose. Most of the interviews I've read with her discussing her art, she does not touch on its racial elements. None the less, her puppets are beautiful and I feel as if she's living my dream.

No comments: