The young Columbian illustrator Pablo Arrázola (born 1991) presents childhood as a mysterious time. With a pencil and crayons he draws boys and girls in an almost photorealistic manner on different-format sheets of paper. The children are alone – parents, friends, or siblings are not shown, the background is white. Sometimes the artist hints at a particular spatial situation: He crumples, embosses, and folds the drawing paper, thereby giving them a 3D structure, which can be seen as a rock formation or a brick wall.
Hardly any children are actually portrayed moving, most of them are just standing or sitting, some undecided, some lost in their thoughts. This contemplative posture contradicts the children’s appearance. Using masks, cloaks, or full-body costumes they slip into the role of classic comic superheroes such as Batman, Superman, and The Flash. Pablo Arrázola actually accords some of his young protagonists supernatural powers: Some children seem to single-handedly give the paper on which they are drawn tears or cuts – effective interplay between the levels of portrayal.
The children, however, are not surprised by their extraordinary capabilities; they observe in a calm, composed way. Hardly any of them gaze out of the work, some of them even turn their back to the observer – one can observe them, but not really establish contact with them. Their childhood is closed to those who have left theirs behind them.
Pablo Arrázola was born in 1991 in Bogotá, Columbia. From 2010 to 2015 he studied Art at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá. The presentation in Museum Folkwang is his first exhibition in a museum context. On display are 18, in some case large-format drawings which the artist created especially for the exhibition space for the 6 ½ Wochen series.
6:30 p.m. with Pablo Arrázola
Thurs. 28 Nov. 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Tobias Burg talks to Pablo Arrázola (in English)
Followed by DJ, drinks and snacks
Participation is free.