Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When an Ecological Political Cartoon Becomes High Art

Image by Pawel Kuczynski (Poland) - Niels Bugge Cartoon Award 2014

“I think that high art reposes on popular art, without one there cannot be another.”
~ Eric Rohmer
Source:  BrainyQuote - Eric Rohmer - High Art Quotes
Today we are going to offer something rather different. While it can be said that ecosystems have an inherent beauty & truth, as does all of nature, today we are going to look at political cartoons about nature—and our relationship with it—and see if something akin to universal truth & beauty.
“Human being, as all life on earth, came from the stars and landed through the ocean. Ocean is our very first foster mother, much more than the land where we, now, cut trees and plant transgenic corn. But, as we maltreat land, we have been maltreating our spring of life and now oceans are quite ill because of our activities: less fish but more plastic, less pure water but more oil, less coral but more garbage.”

Thus went the challenge issued to cartoonists and illustrators by the Niels Bugge Cartoon Award. Participants from 75 countries submitted their works, both satirical and some unquestionably artistic.

As reported by The Huffington Post, “the international competition received over 1,000 entries, sent from everywhere from Iran, China, Syria, the U.S. and the host country, Denmark.”

Here ‘s what Canada’s own Bruce Mackinnon had to share.

Image by Bruce Mackinnon (Canada)  - Niels Bugge Cartoon Award 2014

And, we quite agree with their assessment that the political cartoons “seem to perfectly unfold the issue of climate change, encapsulating the issues and feelings wrapped up in discussions of humans' impact on our planet.” Source: Huffington Post

We’ll go one better. At least one of the finalists’ submissions transcends mere political commentary and ascends to heights of universal truth and beauty…unquestionably attaining the status of high art.

Image by Andrei Popov (Russia) - Niels Bugge Cartoon Award 2014

Far be it from us to tell you, dear reader, which one(s) achieve such lofty heights. Let’s just say you know which are our favourites (with the cream rising to the top) in our humble opinion.

Image by Shahram Rezaei (Iran) - Niels Bugge Cartoon Award 2014

But who don’t you judge for yourself? See all nine of the finalists here at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/07/niels-bugge-cartoon-award_n_5455509.html .

Then, just for fun, you can compare YOUR FAVOURITES with what the official jury decided!...

And if that’s not amusement enough for you, check out even more entries in the Nielsbugge Award Catalogue!...