Iconic Spanish illustrator Joan Cornellà is visiting mainland China for the first time later this month for a solo exhibition in Shanghai, and he has requested a little help.
On Tuesday, Cornellà posted on his Facebook page that he was looking for “an assistant with painting skills (specially painting lines)” to help him in Shanghai in June. Any takers?
You’ll probably be familiar with Cornellà’s work from its unique, cartoonish depictions of violence and gore. His comic strips, often six to eight frames long, pair unsettling images with bright colors and happy faces. An expert in black comedy and surrealism, Cornellà has published books worldwide, including his most recent collections entitled Sot (2016) and Zonzo (2015).
American cartoonist Kazimieras G. Prapuolenis (Kaz) applauds Sot, saying, “Joan Cornellà’s funny characters are doing the wrong things at the wrong time for the wrong reasons and making everything right somehow.”
“‘Even if Joan’s plots can be hard to follow, his world is totally absorbing. When one finally gets the proper idea of it, shivers spread along one’s spinal cord. After seeing too many toothpaste-ad smiling psychos in Joan’s world, I became almost afraid of them in real life,” writes Polish painter Aleksandra Waliszewska
Although Cornellà has yet to visit mainland China, SCMP’s Style magazine notes that he draws his largest group of Facebook followers from Hong Kong, where he launched an extremely successful exhibition last year.
Many of Cornellà’s pieces provide insights into aspects of modern culture, but he rarely paints an overt message, letting people make their own interpretations. Recently, he’s expanded these commentaries to other cultures. Style points out that he spent a month in Hong Kong before launching his new, Hong Kong themed artwork.
Dark images like this one of a man taking a selfie while squeezed inside a cage incorporate Cornellà’s signature critiques of modern culture with elements of life that he found in Hong Kong, namely tiny “gnat flats“.
In his upcoming Shanghai exhibition, Cornellà will similarly incorporate elements of Chinese culture into his gruesome and gory comics, and apparently, he won’t be working alone.
Cornellà’s exhibition will be in Shanghai from June 10th to June 25th, located in the M50 Creative Space on Moganshan Road. It costs 50 yuan at the door to get in. For more info, click here.
By Caroline Roy
Follow Shanghaiist on WeChat