It is not often that I quote the words of another author in the forward for an online exhibition. However, I felt that Alicia Szmukler’s opening account of Marcelo Suaznabar’s paintings from 1994-2010 catalogue, seemed to equally state the artist’s aims in his new drawings.
“The artist [Marcelo Suaznabar] is interested in issues that could be deemed strange in the highly fragmented world in which we live; a world where it would seem difficult to universalize values and share guiding principles of human behavior. However, through his artwork, the artist seems to encourage the spectator to begin an internal search…” (pg.9, “Marcelo Suaznabar, Paintings from 1994-2010”)
Suaznabar’s new drawings still hold the foundation originally established in his paintings created several years ago (He still paints, too). This time, however, he has taken into account the atmosphere of Canada’s current situation, namely Covid-19.
“… Suaznabar’s work is that it embodies both a naïve and sarcastic approach when representing issues of a serious nature.” (pg. 9)
Suaznabar remains in touch with the serious dynamics that are affecting us all, nods to history and considers the potential for hope in his latest drawings. He finds an artistic way of breaking down climaxing fear and anxiety by containing it in playful and clever creatures.
Consider one of Suaznabar’s drawings:
“The Mask” depicts a two-legged zebra patterned creature distancing itself from the ground, which supports all of us, by way of a wheeled apparatus. Suaznabar adds a military style gas mask to suggest that the void around the creature is toxic. In this surrealistic imagery, I cannot help, but relate and laugh. I find myself placing my fears into something that no longer is too serious.
Suaznabar’s drawing has the ability to take the emotions felt by the viewer and turn it on its head. Through graphite, Suaznabar creates a realist image that is photographic, but also absurd to believe. But you want to believe.
Take the time to enjoy the 17 drawings collected together for “From the Pencil of Marcelo Suaznabar” as if they are hung in the gallery. Be present and take a moment to reflect. Continue, to find deep thought and some laughter, and believe the unimaginable could be REAL.
-- Curator Andrea Jackman