The man with the darkest humour in illustration, Joan Cornellá, is back with a new show at Public Gallery in east London this April. Displaying a collection of brand new works, a sneak peek of which is below, Joan’s latest show invites visitors to “peer into Cornellá’s dystopic vision of contemporary life” – as usual then.
Titled I’m Good Thanks, the globally acclaimed artist and illustrator’s paintings will line the walls of the gallery, centred around a sculpture of Joan’s recognisable and reoccurring suited male figure, “hanging from a noose and smiling psychopathically whilst posing for a selfie,” the gallery describes. “Each work holds a mirror up to the depraved nature of society; confronting everything from our unnatural connection to social media and masturbatory selfie culture, to political topics such as abortion, addiction and gender issues – no subject is off limits.”
As is custom with Joan’s often hauntingly-dark artworks, which will find viewers guiltily laughing upon viewing them, each painting at first appears quite sweet, before he “twists these saccharine settings to dissect modern culture” Public Gallery continues.
On the humorous context of I’m Good Thanks Joan comments: “I think we all laugh at misery. We must start from the idea that when we laugh, we laugh at someone or something. With empathy or not, there is always some degree of cruelty. In spite of that, I am aware that if one of my cartoons happened in real life I would not laugh at all.”
I’m Good Thanks, in turn, is a chance for viewers to look inwards, laughing at themselves too. “Anyone who visits the show should prepare for a three dimensional, colourful onslaught of new work from Cornellá,” adds Public Gallery’s co-director, Harry Dougall. “Expect to laugh, feel guilty for laughing and then leave needing a shower.”
The exhibition will be open from 3 April through to 4 May 2019. We’ll see you looking a little sheepish there.
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