Monday, September 29, 2014

Vladimir Kazanevsky

I was pleased to attend the opening of the exhibition of the great Ukraine artist Vladimir Kazanevsky in the ECC on 27 September.

Rudy Gheysens and Vladimir Kazanevsky

The exhibition gave me the answer to the question why Kazanevsky portraits so many headless people in his drawings. There is a philosophy involved:

'People with their own heads are supposed to be happy, healthy and intelligent. There would be no more wars, drugs, prostitution ... But they have deliberately turned their heads away. They have decided that the soul was in their heels or in their hearts, their gallbladders or their stomachs, but not in their heads. This is how they began to live. They no longer know how to think for themselves, and a government without a head does not know where it is going. If you look around yourself, you notice this results in a 'headless' society.'

That evening, I had the opportunity to buy two books of the artist. One of them is Homo Gibber (Daedalos Verlag, Basel, 2007, ISBN 978-3-905774-02-3). As with the drawings and cartoons of Kazanevsky, this is again a very odd book, "a novel without words". It's about the hunchback.
On the back cover of the book we read:

"The hunchback -ancient mystical symbol for folded angel's wings as well as for dark passions, hidden sins and human confusion- is used in the 'novel without words' as a characteristic feature of a creature that does not dare or care to use its highest human potential. Vladimir Kazanevsky's manifesto is a compelling one: Hunchbacks of the world - straighten up!. The gorgeous and humorous drawings will leave nobody untouched."

drawing a dedication for me...
Learn more:
Kazanevsky at Cartoon Gallery
Best Cartoons: gallery

Monday, September 22, 2014

Captain Bruce Bairnsfather exhibition in Plugstreet (Sept 19 - Dec 24 2014)

A few weeks ago I got this kind invitation:

Mr. Gilbert DELEU, Mayor,
Mr. Didier VANDESKELDE, Chairman of "Plugstreet 14-18 experience", Deputy Mayor for Cultural Affairs,
Mr. Luc DE GEEST, Deputy Mayor for Tourism,

are delighted to invite you to the lecture proposed by Tonie and Valmai HOLT, and the inauguration of temporary exhibition "Captain Bruce Bainrsfather, the Creator of Old Bill and the Better 'Ole".

Last Friday I attended the excellent lecture given by Tonie and Valmai Holt. We all learned some interesting facts about the artist and his character Old Bill. Tonie showed us some trench and other maps to locate the places, farms and cottages  where Bruce Bairnsfather (BB) spent his time during his short stay in Belgium and where he was a witness of the Plugstreet Christmas Truce in December 1914.

I was delighted to hear that the famous BB, until the end of his life in 1959, was a very kind, amiable and cordial person. So are Tonie and Valmai Holt who gave the lecture. I was happy to see them again after we met in 2009 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the dead of BB.  The temporary exhibition shows a (small) part of the impressive BB collection owned by Tonie and Valmai: Grim wades, trench art, glass slides, jigsaw puzzles, cards, postcards, prints, magazines, etc.

Surprise of the evening was the unveiling of... the original Better Ole cartoon. A top of the art collector's item and a masterpiece of BB: the most famous cartoon of WWI.

Valmai with original Better Ole cartoon

If you like the work of Bruce Bairnsfather, then follow this tips:

1. learn more about BB on our blog or on Mark Warby's  BB website

2. like The Bruce Bairnsfather Society on Facebook (you can even join in)

3. fill in the petition to give Bruce Bairnsfather the recognition he deserves for his immeasurable contribution to boosting morale during WW1. The petition has been started by Tonie and Valmai Holt, who are proposing that a leading member of the Government should make a statement in the House that Bairnsfather's contribution during the war should be retrospectively recognised.

before the lecture, I took this picture at Prowse Point cemetary

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Crazy Movers!

Next weekend I have to move my daughter to the city of Leuven where she is going to study at the university. Moving is hard labour. Fortunately I have this little cartoon book to inspire me how to move ...

This book was published for the 100th anniversary of the Arthur Pierre - professional movers company. Cartoons are by the Belgian cartoonist Ploeg.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

100 drawings for human rights - Cent dessins pour les droits de l'homme

Nothing is more important than human rights and freedom of speech. I found this book some days ago at the Braderie de Lille. It wat published in 1987 by Le cherche midi éditeur. 27 years later we have to defend this rights more than ever. 

You may have heard of the documentary "Caricaturistes - Fantassins de la démocratie": cartoonists are the infantryman of democracy. Learn more about it on the YouTube channel  or the Facebook page. In the documentary, the French cartoonist Plantus says"The first language is the image".  He's damned right!