Saturday, September 05, 2015

Comics and Cartoons as Art

“I draw almost every day.
And I can spend a whole day on my desk filling up sketchbooks.

Razvan Boar

The Romanian artist Razvan Boar has had a lifelong interest in drawing.

As he told Hunted Projects Steven Cox “I was always drawing when I was a kid and that stuck with me until today, but I didn’t have a strong desire for doing art. I was really into other things. I grew up in a family where everyone did something creative and that influenced me in many ways. I only took painting seriously in art school.

And, although the mainstay of Boar’s work was painting in a mostly monochromatic rendering of images originating from 1950’s American culture that he saw as portraying “a gag orientated and naïve attitude,” in 2013 his love of drawing re-inserted its influence to become the dominant focus of his work resulting in his cartoon creations.

As he has explained “I get bored easily. And, you know, there’s so much you can do with paint, and I just knew I cannot stay in one place for too long. It’s just the way I approach things. I hated being stuck with something when you know you can do a lot more. That’s why I put together drawings and paintings for my first shows and later setting up things so that my paintings reflected also my particular interest for drawing. I wanted to make room for that. So I cannot really talk about the change in direction for something I did back in 2013, because I feel, I’m doing it all the time. And I had a thing for comics since growing up. Cartoons too. I won’t ever forget Banana Man, or He-Man. I guess that’s now part of the way I think about images. I like George Herriman, Chester Gould, Will Eisner, Crumb and many more. And weird untitled vintage comics you find on the Internet.”

“Many of them come from comics that already exist. I did a lot of searching on the Internet and magazines and books and I was after a particular type of comic/cartoon that appealed to me in particular. And with this research, things can be very subtle: it doesn’t have to be a full page or anything like that, most of the time you get just a hint, or an outline or something minimal but really good. That’s what I was after. You can trace it to my fascination with drawing and how it developed over time. I tried to find sources for some of the images I like but were so out of context that their origin was impossible to find. I create a lot of drawings resembling comics these days and I enjoy that very much,” he adds. 

Boar’s current exhibition Stump Lunch which features his painted cartoons is on show at London’s Ibid Gallery until the 3rd of October.

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