Cristina NualART

Tag: Illustration

Ironies of ‘the female condition’

Below are my digital drawings currently on show in Cúnhouse Lounge. I like seeing and capturing funny anecdotes. The poem and illustrations chosen for this small exhibition on the occasion of International Women’s Day humorously picture some favoured debates of ‘the female condition’.

glassceiling_cnualartWoman Underneath Glass Ceiling

hormonalblackbird_cnualartBet You Thought She Was Hormonal! laughed the Crow…

rocketscientist_cnualartRocket Scientist Dips Her Toes into the Waters of Love as She Looks into Her Future

skyinmouth_cnualartThe Sky Inside Your Mouth

ode2pms_cnualartAn Ode to PMS

This illustration was first conceived as a poem, and published in <a href="http://www.blankmediacollective omeprazole 40″ target=”_blank”>Blankpages magazine in 2010.

Dear PMS,
my moonly visitor
red traffic light
to stop
to stop and check
And in that
little waste of time
of road rage
I feel.
Thank you PMS
for the warning.
Flashing amber
(go slow now)
Do some thinking.
Interrupt my sleep
with thoughts
middle deep.
Sweet films and hurts.
Thank you
for the thin skin,
for the blood
that drains
the stagnant still
I enjoy the feeling
of feeling.
I cry
the hurt
of others.
Sorrows come alive
spiking through my pain.
(You give me)
I like to hear
my soundbeat,
and to love more.
To love.
To miss.
To no sorrow.
Better tomorrow.
Thank you PMS.
Until we meet again.



Open Arts Cafe

64_OpenArtsCafe_photocnualartYesterday I had a lovely evening at the Open Arts Cafe. From the link a friend sent me on fb, I expected it to be geared towards fine arts performance, but instead of being all obscure and weird (mock stereotype alert!), it was entertainment of a very enjoyable ‘normal’ kind. Lovely singing voices, amusing poetry, short plays, hilarious comedy and a deeply striking contemporary dance piece by Drew Gordon (so powerful it was scary!) all rolled into one event, supported by (yes!!) an art exhibition featuring Elli Chortara‘s illustrations and Aleksandra Laika‘s glowing portraits inspired by internet communication, a topic closely related to my current art research. The selection of music and poetry was on funny little love stories. And so, I checked out the websites, and I really like the way that Erinkmusic’s one is going, albeit not finished yet.

Art connaisseurship

There’s a Spanish saying that I really like, deformación profesional, which is used to explain the angle on vision that our career’s impose on all other spheres of our lives. You would often use the expression to excuse a language slip, for example, if you had just used specialist jargon in a laypersons conversation. It highlights the fact that one’s profession is closely link to one’s identity (as questionable as that may be).

A few days ago, whilst waiting around in a corridor of a public building, I overhead a few people making casual conversation. The topic was the large canvas with lots of white cracked paint and some washes of grey and red, with a few other small patches of colour. I tried to blend into the wallpaper to hear this exchange in which one woman dismissed it as completely worthless, whilst another said the splotch of red looked like blood. I smiled when I head the unsurprising retort: ‘they charge thousands for something like that in a museum’ (little does she know that ‘thousands’ is an understatement).

The painting was not a well known one, nor was it by any famous artists, yet still I found it quite beautiful and interesting to look at, and skillful. And that’s when I knew that -although I have a large circle of friends and colleagues who are not ‘into’ art- I still have in my day-to-day life enough intellectual input on art that I have become a ‘deformed professional’, a person who is so imbued in a field that I can no longer see it from the outside. I continued eavesdropping, refreshed and excited at the thought that these laypeople were helping me see this canvas from the ‘why should it be valued at all?’ point of view. It got better. Along came a man who self-assuredly offered his interpretation of the painting, pointing as he said: ‘that is the Icelandic cloud of volcanic ash, there’s a field and there’s a city and there are no aeroplanes in the big white sky’!

The flippant comment not only added to my pondering on art-connaisseurship in the popular realm, but also made me consider art as a medium to portray current affairs. My mate Paul Shinn drew this version of the Iceland volcano. See his blog for other illustrations on current affairs.

51_MetroPop art is not around us like it used to, though. Like millions on London Transport, on Thursday this week I grabbed a copy of Metro magazine to forget that enjoying the journey requires paying attention to it. As I flipped through the daily news, I found this article on art made by a 10 year old boy, pretentiously labelled a ‘young Picasso’, complete with neckscarf and black beret (très chic).

Well, it is Metro and not Art Monthly, but even so, have people generally got such a  poor understanding of art that they confuse these colourful images with Cubism? I’m shocked – especially considering that Cubism is a die-hard topic in GCSE art.

To add insult to injury, some mugs have paid over £600 for some of this boy’s paintings. In art market terms, that’s nothing, but considering that we are actually talking about a child who does vibrant paintings, well, get real. Buy yourself a couple of hand-made prints at the Affordable Art Fair and let this kid be a kid and not a gimmicky money-making trick. Look around at what children do naturally: those that have the privilege of owning paper and finger paints (not those poor slaves of Nintendos and PSPs…) do this kind of stuff all the time. It’s great, but it’s only mums, dads and grandparents who should want to own it.

Laydeez do Comics

Laydeez2010_photocnualartThis week, the monthly evening gathering of admirers of female comic makers in London was bustling with new faces and regulars sharing ideas and recommendations.

This is a networking event, as well as an educational session, so I met lots of cool people.The girl drawing in the photo is Catari, an American student in London, on her way to NY soon. I liked seeing her drawings about the evening spread across an old book throughout the session. She knew her stuff about graphic novels, and she seemed pretty determined to learn well, so I’m sure we’ll be coming across her own graphic novels in the near future.

PaulShinn2010I also had a nice chat with Paul Shinn, whose blog is full of fun pictures. He is in the enviable position of starting a career as a freelance illustrator. I haven’t been to Camberwell (college of art), where Paul did his MA in illustration last year, but I have the privilege of knowing Mary Kuper, who teaches peripatetically there, and I love her! She’s very inspiring. So is Paul, full of enthusiasm! So there’s more potential to look forward to seeing published in the future.

Dan Berry from runs the first BA in Graphic Novels in the UK. He was busy writing and drawing all night, and I saw some sketches he did that were really amusing takes on the presentations, so I’m looking forward to seeing more soon.

Kari2010Next person I had the privilege to hear was Paul Gravett, whose online presence speaks for itself, I don’t need to give you the link. He’s an authority in the field of illustrated texts (that’s one way of describing it all) and offered some great suggestions that are now on my even longer list of books to read.

The two main ones are ‘Kari’ (shown here) by Amruta Patil and ‘Funhome’, by Alison Bechdel.

Our French guest Jean-Paul made some very insightful observations on this last book. He’s looked closely at the literary component as well as the images, and I was fascinated by his critique.

The two speakers of the evening, Kiriko Kubo and Sarah Zaidan brought a multicultural feel to this session, showing us their illustrated idiosincracies about geographical areas (Japan, and Savannah, Georgia). This is a large area of research in itself, (e.g. Dorren Massey) and it was good to look at something more localised and less laden with heavy-duty heart-wrenching tragedy. Those of you who know me know that I love a good bit of existential pathos, but a bit of superficial couch travelling is as good for the soul as any intense sharing of the human dramas!

Unless otherwise specified, text and images © 2017 Cristina Nualart

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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