Appearing for centuries in magazines, newspapers and underground publications, comics illustrate cartoons, but also politics, popular culture, propaganda and subversion. While the bright colours, curved figures and storyboard format speaks to children, throughout history they have had the power to challenge the status quo, with its cartoon-like format providing the opportunity to critique and subvert reality.
Born and raised in the comically perfect Los Angeles, Samantha Rosenwald’s work uses humour to comment on female beauty expectations. Threading together contemporary culture, visual pun and the dogmas of art history, while utilising the childlike medium of colouring pencils, she creates personal and absurd images of what it feels like to be alive. Typically constructed in a sequence of panels, each image in a comic strip continues a story that doesn’t necessarily have an ending, transporting the reader into another world. Oda Iselin Sønderland found herself in the realm of Japanese anime and manga as a teenager and never quite left. Fascinated by the archetype sweet, innocent female character, her imaginative universe is full of recurring mirrors and reflections, giving an insight into the character’s psyche and a feeling of being watched. Changing with the times, comics – and comic-like art – date as far back as the Lascaux cave paintings in France, changing and adapting to societies, cultures and desires. Through his painting, Maurizio Bongiovanni explores eroticism in consumer society. Playing with the relationship between tragedy and sexuality, his practice speaks about the limits of chaos and existence.