Friday, 5 May 2017

Wildly Popular Disturbing Art

A man taking a selfie with a gun. Did he get the shot?
This afternoon I went to a preview of an edgy show by Spanish comic strip artist Joan Cornella.

The paintings and prints are so absurd you can't help but laugh or be disturbed by the images, showing people with generic happy faces being destructive, or having violent acts being done to them.

Four years ago Cornella decided to change his style of art by doing these comic strips and posting them on Facebook to see what the reaction would be.

A Hong Kong family with a selfie stick...
The verdict was unanimous within a short period of time -- keep doing it!

Interestingly his biggest fan base is in Hong Kong, followed by Brazil.

When I asked him why Hong Kong people love his work so much, Cornella didn't have an explanation.

Perhaps Hong Kong people feel like society or the world they live in is two-faced -- that they have to give the impression that everything is fine or perfect, but in reality it's the complete opposite. Or maybe these are "happy" people fantasizing about what they could do to their boss, or people they hate!

The show, which is on at Space 27 in Quarry Bay from May 6-21, features 38 works, and some of them were inspired by Hong Kong. One of them shows a guy in a cage home, sticking out a selfie stick so he can take a picture of himself.

Maybe because of this work Hong Kong will get more attention on the world stage for its ever increasing widening gap between the rich and poor, and how young people can only afford shoebox-sized flats.

Another painting shows a father, mother and daughter, the latter two wearing face masks, and the father holds up a selfie stick, but there's a gun pointing at them. Wonder who gets that shot?

A man in a caged home looking happy...
The best of the lot is called Two Girls, featuring the poster of the Kwong Sang Hong Two Girls, and painted over their faces are Cornella's signature generic smiley faces, one wearing a face mask and holding up a selfie stick with a gun at the end, and a modern landscape of skyscraper behind them.

 A woman with the gallery told us a family from Taiwan recently gave Cornella their family photo for him to paint over. We can only say this family is really unconventional and brave because we don't know what the artist will do to their faces and bodies!

Joan Cornella: A Hong Kong Themed Solo Exhibition
May 6-21
Space 27
10/F, Block AB, Tung Chong Factory Building
653-659 King's Road
Quarry Bayd

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