The Comic-Cubist

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The origin and development of comic cubismDie Entstehung und die Entwicklung des Comic-Kubismus

At the beginning of the 1990s, ‘ditArdo’ developed his characteristic artistic language of ‘comic cubism’. The term ‘comic cubism’ was then coined by Fred Feuerbach in 2004 in connection with ditArdo’s paintings in front of a wide audience.

The stylistic terms ‘comic’ and ‘cubism’ overlap in their formal approaches in ditArdo’s artistic language. The ‘comic’ is characterized by the means of line and surface, whereby the space is also defined by the surface. The striking effect is used together with synthetic ‘cubism’, the simultaneous and superimposed representation of different views or perspectives, to make high-contrast statements about the motif or experiences. The motif becomes a pictorial symbiosis of everyday experiences, dreams, lines, colors and structures. For example, the yellow tomcat stands for the image of laissez-faire, of roaming around in the midday sun. In the process of artistic observation, questions about the fourth dimension arise primarily in sunny Jakarta. What color are the streaks of light over the water, how much time is eight months, is time yellow, red or blue? These are just a few quotes from our lively email exchange in the ether.

Text from
Dr. Wolter Abele,
art historian

Childhood and youth

Chewing gum and Coca-Cola

His childhood in the 1960s, like that of so many others of his generation, was characterized by comic figures, ‘pop art’, chewing gum and Coca-Cola. But while other children struggled with English, Latin or physics at school, ditArdo used every minute of his school days to draw, namely ‘comics’. Inspired by comic artists such as Disney, Uderzo and Charles M. Schulz, ditArdo mostly drew characters he had developed himself.

His studies

During his studies at the Merzakademie, ditArdo also drew characters such as Tick, Trick and Track or Donald Duck for cinema commercials. This was quite lucrative weekend work. This work with well-known ‘comic’ characters remained the exception. Some mystical figures and scenes were also created at this time.

The first comic-cubist picturesAt the beginning of the 90s, ditArdo painted his first ‘comic-cubist’ pictures. In them, the figure no longer played the main role, but rather the interplay of different perspectives, colored surfaces, lines and structures.

Realism and Abstraction

Later, some of these became so abstract that eventually whole figures were no longer recognizable, but only the lines and shapes were reminiscent of ‘comics’. From then on, ditArdo began to add realistic elements to his ‘comic’ figures.In the meantime, realistic-looking elements are mixed with comic-like forms.New aesthetic elements and surreal scenes are created.Text by
Ronald Reder,
art historian, London

Picasso’s revolutionary Cubism is considered the most influential art movement of the 20th century and earned him the nickname “father of modern art”. Its impact was so immense that it helped to inspire a host of other art movements around the world such as Futurism, Suprematism, Dadaism, Constructivism, Vortism, De Stijl and Art Deco.
But Picasso was also an avid fan of American comic strips, especially “The Katzenjammer Kids”, and this influence is obvious.
If Cubism was the opening shot of modern art, comics gave it some of the “bang!”

Roy Schwartz, art historian

‚ditArdo‘ 

A pseudonym, an avatar, an artist name, a brand, a label – consciously chosen and based on my own life story.

Since I work as an artist on very different ‘art projects’, it became clear at some point that it is better for the outside world to name projects that are characterized by different styles individually. So it made sense to assign them a kind of ‘avatar’, an ‘artist person’ – but identical to one and the same person in the end.

Art is free. And in order for it to be free, it is important that artists do not allow themselves to be pigeonholed, which of course also applies in the context of a constantly changing and developing body of work. Neither market mechanisms nor expectations should stand in the way of the artistic process.

Artist names can be helpful to differentiate ‘soft’ or if the pseudonym becomes a phantom, see ‘Banksy’, ‘hard’.

‘ditArdo’ is not a phantom. ‘ditArdo’ consciously and ‘softly’ differentiates itself, also to create a little more space.

“People have tried to explain Cubism mathematically, geometrically, psychoanalytically. That is pure literature. Cubism has plastic aims. We see in it only a means of expressing what we perceive with the eye and the mind, using all the possibilities that lie in the essential qualities of drawing and color. This became a source of unexpected joys for us, a source of discoveries. “

Pablo Picasso