Archive for October, 2014

Three Monkeys.



Reworking Picasso’s Guernica.


“The horrors of war managed with the weapons of technique.” Wilhelm Boeck

On the 26th of April 1937, German bombers,on behalf of general Franco’s army, bombed the small Basque city of Guernica. The town was undefended and sheltered only civilians well behind the battle-front. The bombardment lasted for three hours and the destruction was almost total.
Early in 1936 Pablo Picasso had been invited by the spanish republican Government to produce a mural for the Spanish pavilion at the Paris World Fair to open in June 1937. Picasso began preparatory sketches for Guernica on May the 1st. The twenty five foot long painting was completed within a month.
Guernica, to me, seems to be a “Fuck You” to the seriousness of war. The big serious adult world of war. A topic that’s expected to be talked about in serious and revered terms not bombastic or absurd terms. Hatred is fine because that feeds the war machine but mocking the whole idea of war is insulting. You’re expected to choose a side. I think Guernica points out that war is an absurd joke.
The influence of Guernica on my work over the years is telling. I can see it in the Gods eyes that I’ve used in the top centre of drawings or the screaming mouths my characters have and in the stoic ways they stand.
In someways I see Picasso as the first great cartoonist. His influence on animation and cartoonists in general is immeasurable. I see Guernica’s influence on John Lennon and Banksy. For someone that great to come along and say, with his art, that it’s alright to draw badly completely breaks down the conventions of image making. Because at the end of the day drawing badly is better drawing then not drawing at all. I find it funny when I meet people who think Picasso couldn’t draw.

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