Friday, April 23, 2010

Revolution series

I am working on a series of digital drawings and paintings about 'revolution'.

This painting uses 'tricolor' theme from French Revolution, blood stains symbolises 'no pain, no gain' then we see uneasy incompleteness and miscalculation.

Tragedy of chaos, blood stains and unfinished wall slogan 'R' of 'revolution', the drama of a young revolutionary whose life was taken during Paris riots.

Graffiti of Revolution, shows vitality and enthusiasm of revolutionaries..

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Power of a painting

Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso, depicting the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War.

Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. This work has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace.

A tapestry copy of Picasso's Guernica is displayed on the wall of the United Nations building in New York City, at the entrance to the Security Council room. Commissioned in 1955 by Nelson Rockefeller, and placed on loan to the United Nations by the Rockefeller estate in 1985,[18] the tapestry is less monochromatic than the original, and uses several shades of brown.

On February 5, 2003 a large blue curtain was placed to cover this work, so that it would not be visible in the background when Colin Powell and John Negroponte gave press conferences at the United Nations.

On the following day, it was claimed that the curtain was placed there at the request of television news crews, who had complained that the wild lines and screaming figures made for a bad backdrop, and that a horse's hindquarters appeared just above the faces of any speakers.

Some diplomats, however, in talks with journalists claimed that the Bush Administration pressured UN officials to cover the tapestry, rather than have it in the background while Powell or other U.S. diplomats argued for war on Iraq.

compiled from Wikipedia

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The story of a portrait

This is Alberto Korda. Korda was the son of a railway worker, and took many jobs before beginning as a photographer's assistant. He was a photographer for the Cuban newspaper Revolución in 1960 when he produced on March 5, 1960 the iconic image of Che Guevara, that became a worldwide symbol of revolution and rebellion.

The freighter La Coubre exploded at 3:10 p.m. on 4 March 1960, while it was being unloaded in Havana harbor. This 4,310-ton French vessel was carrying 76 tons of Belgian munitions from the port of Antwerp.

At the instant of the explosion, Che Guevara was in a meeting in the INRA building. After hearing the blast and seeing the debris cloud from a window overlooking the port area, he drove to the scene and spent the next hours giving medical attention to the scores of crew members, armed forces personnel, and dock workers who had been injured, many of them fatally.

Che Guevara at the La Coubre memorial service
I've always had enormous urge to draw Che's portrait, using his famous photograph taken at La Coubra memorial service on March 5, 1960..

..and I always wanted to do this in my own way, not interested in even remotely how and why others drew him.

Knowing that this is the most copied photograph in the history of photography, did not put me off. I had my own reasons.

I had to explore his face first, I have to understand his lines. The best way to achieve this is to draw an outline, a contour, like a blind man recognizing a face.

I used "felt art marker" to draw the portrait in free strokes. I strove to remain loyal to lines emerged from studying the original picture, unlike commonly known templates which were manipulated to make him look younger for propaganda purposes. Take this one for example:

This is certainly a more handsome looking portrait used in Cuban murals and propaganda posters. But in this form despite we see a much younger and healthier looking plumply face, the portrait lacks emotion in general and Che looks awfully unreal.

I had to do much better than this.

I let my hands to capture his character freely, his sadness, his silent determination and the aura of funeral atmosphere surrounding him at the time. 

Yet my drawing is not only about the funeral nor about heartlessly dry soul crushing ideological propaganda.

Above all I wanted to capture a man who is standing behind his principles, his revolutionary ideals. His looks say it all: "I am standing here with you no matter what". Venceremos ("we will win".)

Did they win? Only they will tell.

But 'Che' meme will continue to live with us.

Che survived the odds and became the coolest icon of popular culture manifesting and translating itself forever as the 'rebel with a cause' within the midst of our collective consciousness.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Infinite Onion

Richard Feynman in an interview said:

“I can live with doubt and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong.”

We don’t need religions nor god to explain uncertainty, doubts or things that we don’t know. Questions like ‘why we are here?’ might be pointless as there might be no purpose hidden behind our existence.

An inquisitive mind is all we need in our journey of learning. New answers surface other questions. New knowns expose other unknowns. If there is any purpose in life it may as well be the purpose of unfolding the next unknown. It is like peeling the layers of an infinite onion.