Thanks to Air_wro I spent the month of April in Dresden, in a curatorial residency at a GEH8 Kunstraum. It was an incredible month, I met some amazing people who I am working with to produce an exhibition in Dresden in 2019: Marian Kaiser (Black Market) and Andreas Schmidt from c.rockefellergroup.
The theme of the show (work in progress) is War & Peace – revolution, anarchy, conflict. I will be presenting my collection of original comic art and illustration, while the other guys are bringing a historical (propaganda) context and a contemporary archive of media art related to the subject. We hope the show will travel from Dresden to Wroclaw, and then maybe Leipzig, Berlin… Huge thanks to Paul from GEH8, who was an incredible host.
Here are some pieces from my collection:
Valhalla & Bomb girl
28×43 cm, serigraphy, pencil + crayon
Artwork I got from the studio of @ralphniese for the War&Peace collection. Ralph is based in Leipzig and does some incredible work, I was super happy to have found him, thanks to Andreas Ulrich.
Broken Fingaz, Hajfa
28×43 cm, offset
New artwork from Hajfa, Israel in my War&Peace collection: @brokenfingaz graffiti collective sticker sheet. It’s the first piece in the collection that is literally taken out of context of an actual conflict. Normally you’d see these stickers pasted around the cities of Israel, but it’s very interesting to see the entire sheet. Aside from their raw power, they are beautifully printed with vivid colors on quality paper.
Underground resistance & Ohrfeige (Slap in the face)
28×43 cm, serigraphy
Prints acquired from @paul_waak for the War&Peace collection. Paul made an entire screenprinted book Vertex Maximus containing tens of illustrations on various themes. I chose „Underground resistance” and „Slap in the face”, as they fit very well in the narrative of the collection I’m building. Kudos on the amazing printmaking by Andreas Ulrich from @c.rockefellergroup in Dresden.
The Batman Chronicles
Tommorow Belongs to Us #1 / 1
DC Comics, 1995
28×43 cm, pencil + ink
Original, hand-drawn, opening splash-page from the first issue of The Batman Chronicles. It has glued-on speech baloons, a number of editor’s comments in blue crayon and two stamps of DC Comics.
In the splash page, there is a group of youngsters, plotting to form a revolutionary force. They are angry at the system – rotten and ripe for collapse. I can really understand their motivations, but at the same time it scares me. Anger makes people vulnerable to manipulation.
City Stories, Stowarzyszenie Twórców Contur, 2013
20×20 cm, acrylic paint on canvas
Second scene of the third page from a comic book “City stories” created by one of my favourite Polish illustrators of the young generation. It is hand painted on a tiny square canvas and, however small in size, it is a great addition to the collection. As far as I know, Karpowicz is one of very few artists who create their comic stories with this technique (painting each image on a separate canvas, rather than a full page on paper).
All Dogs Go to Heaven
United Artists, 1989
All Dogs Go to Heaven (animated movie)
23×25 cm, Color Model Cel Setup
An outstanding 16 field color model cel of Anne Marie and Charlie B. Barkin, the German Shepard voiced by Burt Reynolds. This is a 2 cel setup with huge images, used for ink and paint department reference.
Charlie is shown here, reading “War and Peace” to Anne Marie. I have personal sentiment for this image, because of the circumstances of when I first saw the movie, but it’s also really beautifully made.
Weirdo #26, 1989/ Wildwood Serigraphs, 2010
50×65 cm, serigraph
This serigraph of the cover of a legendary underground magazine Weirdo was printed in November 2010 and signed, numbered and dated by Crumb in late November. It is printed with an oil-based ink in 9 colors.
The beautifully crafted image has two parts: in the center it shows thousands of figures, piling up and fighting with each other. A lonely man sits on the side of the freaking human pyramid, typing. “It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.”
Kajko i Koko
Kajtek i Koko, Egmont, 1961
8×35,5 cm, pencil + ink
Original comic strip by one of the most well-known Polish artists, Janusz Christa. It was created for a story published by “Wieczór Wybrzeża” magazine in 222 episodes (18.11.1961-17.08.1962), under the original title “Adventures of Kajtek-Majtek”, issue nr 98. It was later re-published as “Kajtek, Koko and the Pirates” by Egmont, in 2001. The paper has already turned its’ color, into a hue of yellow, due to old age. Buying this piece was somewhat symbolic for me, as I grew up playing a funny computer game Kajko i Kokosz, based on the characters created by Christa.
The short strip shows Kajko and Koko relaxing on a desolate island, watching TV. The news anchor comes on and describes the latest military activites of their home country. He says that the Army is going to test a grand new weapon – an AMAZING new bomb. The test ground turns out to be the very island our two heroes are on. This right here is my ultimate fear – a nuclear bomb. Not a nice way to go.
There is no Justice
There is no Justice, 2015
20×30 cm, pencil + ink
This is a piece created by another one of my favourite Polish illustrators, Łukasz Kowalczuk. He is an author of underground comic zines, such as the cute “I hate people”. I acquired this piece in an art gallery in Wrocław (Mia), which was hosting a sizable solo exhibition of Kowalczuk. This guy is awesome, I love his punk style.
I think the quote “There is no justice. There’s just us.” is a reference to a book by Terry Pratchett – “Reaper Man”.
Darkhawk, Marvel Comics, 1993
56×43 cm, pencil + ink, foil, acrylic paint
Original art from “Darkhawk”, published by Marvel (issue 30, pages 2-3). It’s a rare double splash made with a number of different techniques: pencil + ink and a special background on foil (two different textures used for continents and the stars). It is biiig.
Suddenly, CRIME all around the world STOPS, as in a magic spell. Villains throw down their weapons and beg for forgivenes. Seems good, but in the right bottom corner it reads: “Yeah. You’d think that everybody getting along would be good…”
Charlie Hebdo, 1982
magazine issue #25
Here is an old issue of the Charlie Hebdo magazine that I bought after the devastating terrorist attack in Paris in 2015. The creator of the cover- Cabu, was one of the best known comic artists in France. He ventured into very controversial topics. As it seems, he was killed because of this – among another great artist, Charles Wolinski and 10 other people. The attack was executed by skilled fighters, which really freaked me out. ISIS is an example of a social unrest that got it all fucking wrong.
The cover is a reference to a horrible accident of a school bus at Beaune, in which 53 people died – 46 of them children between 5-17 years old. The image shows a guy laughing at a skeleton, shouting “He doesn’t have panties!”. The title asks: “CAN YOU LAUGH AT DEATH?”. Looking on the bright side, Cabu’s only son died of HIV, so at least he didn’t see his father being shot by terrorists 5 years later.