Speechless Comic Book Market & Colloquium and the Big Debate

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Cropped photographs of the Speechless colloquium with Zapiro, Andy Mason, Stacey Stent and Sean Christie.


The month of May witnessed the successful opening of SPEECHLESS, South African Comic Artists on the State of the Nation, currently on show at Erdmann Contemporary at 84 Kloof Street in Cape Town until 11 July. The Erdmann Contemporary gallery, the CCIBA and AMAK also hosted a comic book market and colloquium on Saturday 20 June where passers-by had the opportunity to buy local South African comics and rare comic book publications from all over the world. The colloquium was a hit with a lively discussion around cartooning and comics in the fine art space and the current state of newspaper cartooning thanks to generous comments from Zapiro, Stacey Stent, other panelists and colloquium attendee Chip Snaddon. 


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Photograph courtesy of Erdmann Contemporary.


The conversation started off with the intention of showcasing cartoons in a gallery environment. Panelists raised the question of whether or not comic art is or can indeed be art and if the comic art medium was financially viable, especially in a gallery space. According to Erdmann Contemporary's Twitter feed, Zapiro explained how sales of his work including prints and originals are not limited to exhibition in galleries, the artist producing an edition of prints for most of the cartoons he illustrates and making them available on his website and through his formiddable network. Zapiro fondly reminded the audience how William Kentridge made satirical cartoons for a newspaper for a short period of time.


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Photograph courtesy of Erdmann Contemporary.


Sean Christie went on to explain the transition from cartoons for newspaper to cartoons for the gallery wall and articulated some of the 'hang-ups" involved. Christie also mentioned the shift from original to digital works and how collectors prefer to buy original pieces, namely those created using non-digital media. Panelists went on to discuss Brett Murray's Spear and how the attention surrounding the work affected the manner in which South Africans view caricature cartooning and the way in which we galleries price these sort of works. The exhibition contains a significant amount of President Zuma imagery, Sean Christie going so far as to say that some of the works were overly literal. Zapiro started the gender in cartooning debate and asked why it is the case that Stacey Stent is one of South Africa's only published female political cartoonists and one of very few women in industry locally.


Erdmann Contemporary recently released a statement on their Facebook group regarding the Speechless colloquium and comic book market:


The comic book market was a huge success & will become a monthly event! Thank you to Andy Mason & Rafael Powell for organising and Blah Blah Bar for hosting. Andy Mason, Blank Books and Bibliophilia put on a fantastic display of the best comic books I have ever seen in one room. The Colloquium with Zapiro, Stacey Stent, Sean Christie and chaired by Andy Mason was equally successful and continued long after the initial two hour discussion. Thank you to the panelists and Andy for a good debate on a touchy subject. Both these events were centered around our current exhibition, SPEECHLESS which remains on view until 11 July. Images of work by participating cartoonists Alastair Findlay, Zapiro, Chip Snaddon, Stacey Stent & Brandon Reynolds.

Click here to view more about Speechless.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 17:56

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A Brief and Fascinating History of Ultramarine Blue

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Left: Cropped image of Vermeer's, Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665.

Right: Cropped image of Sassoferrato's, The Virgin in Prayer, 1640–50.

 

Have you ever considered the history behind ultramarine blue? As a colour it has long been imbued with connotations of royalty, divinity and wealth. It turns out there is a very particular reason for this, the first and foremost being that it was outrageously expensive to have it sourced and made. Ravi Mangla narrates a fascinating historical tour of ultramarine blue in The Paris Review saying:

 

Derived from the lapis lazuli stone, the pigment was considered more precious than gold. For centuries, the lone source of ultramarine was an arid strip of mountains in northern Afghanistan. The process of extraction involved grinding the stone into a fine powder, infusing the deposits with melted wax, oils, and pine resin, and then kneading the product in a dilute lye solution. Because of its prohibitive costs, the color was traditionally restricted to the raiment of Christ or the Virgin Mary.

 

To read Ravi Mangla's full article in The Paris Review click here.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2015 15:03

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Speechless: Comic Book Market and Colloquium Featuring Zapiro, Stacey Stent, Sean Christie and CCIBA's Andy Mason

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The month of May witnessed the successful opening of SPEECHLESS, South African Comic Artists on the State of the Nation, currently on show at Erdmann Contemporary at 84 Kloof Street in Cape Town.The Erdmann Contemporary gallery, the CCIBA and AMAK have gone one step further and will be hosting a comic book market and colloquium on Saturday 20 June where passers-by will have the opportunity to buy local South African comics and rare comic book publications from all over the world. 


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Speechless curator Andy Mason will be trading classic underground, alternative and old new wave comix to swop for good quality mainstream graphic novels/trade paperbacks. Comics and graphic novel authors include Love & Rockets/Hernandez Bros, Daniel Clowes, Eddie Campbell, Joe Sacco, Jim Woodring, Julie Doucet, Adrian Tominee, Gilbert Shelton/Freak Bros, Spain Rodriguez, Anarchy Comix, R. Crumb/Aline Kominsky/Dirty Laundry, Last Gasp, Psycho, Zero Zero and more.


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Thomas Ott's Dead End, Vertigo's Fairest featuring the writing of Lauren Beukes, Charles Burns' Skin Deep, Classic Mad Magazine, Al Jaffee, Love and Rockets, R. Crumb's Head Comix, Thor, Tintin, Asterix, Alex, Phantom, Sin City, Hyena, Epic, Heavy Metal, Peter Kuper's Stripped, Claire Bretecher's What a Life, Joe Daly's Dungeon Quest, Archie Birch's The Number One Game, Kit Beukes' Wrath, Jungle Jim amd even El Dorado for the serious collector. 


The market begins at 2pm and the Colloquium, featuring Zapiro, Stacey Stent, Sean Christie and chaired by Andy Mason, kicks off at 4pm. Artists will be discussing issues arising out of the show, of which there are many. The Blah Blah Bar will be providing drinks (including a Speechless Cocktail), and Ferdinandos Pizza will be supplying special customised comic pizzas. What a treat!


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If you're not familiar with the Speechless exhibition, click here for more information surrounding the initiative and artist bios. 


To view the digital catalogue of the show, click on this link for a sneak-peak.

Click here to like the CCIBA on Facebook for more information and update.

Click here to follow the CCIBA on Twitter @Hey_CCIBA 

Last Updated on Friday, 19 June 2015 05:27

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Jacopo Rosati's Charming Felt Illustrations

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Cropped illustrations by Jacopo Rosati.


After growing bored with his digital illustration portfolio, Jacopo Rosati decided to start experimenting with felt. The result is an explosion of bright colours and texture in a screen-based world where tactile and non-traditional-traditional media is making a massive comeback.


Have a look at Jacopo Rosati's illustrations here.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 11 June 2015 04:59

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Illustrator Sarah Glidden's Guide to Non-Awkwardness When Greeting Other Humans

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Illustrations by Sarah Glidden.

We all have those moments when we bump into someone we know, may know or have met one time but have no idea how to greet upon seeing them again. Sarah Glidden's quirky series of illustrations manage to encapsulate the ins and outs of having to greet someone and our most typical responses. Going straight in for the hug? A simple wave of the hand - despite being ten centimetres away from the greeter in question? Glidden's got it covered.

Click here to have a look at Sarah Glidden's illustration.

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Click here to follow the CCIBA on Twitter @Hey_CCIBA.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 June 2015 05:32

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