This artist's book reproduces a series of comics made by Victor Man when he was a child in communist Romania in the early 1980s. These drawings reveal the artist's fascination for the then rare Western magazines. The publication opens with a letter from Victor Man to little Rózsa, to whom the book is dedicated.
Victor Man's artist's book Childhood Drawings for Rózsa published by the CEC reproduces short comics made as a child. Victor Man proposes a selection and reframing of the pages of his old and carefully conserved notebooks, in collaboration with Manuel Krebs, graphic designer of the office NORM, Zurich. Not precisely a facsimile, but rather a reinterpretation or a kind of personal readymade, these comics tell the tales of some heroes uncannily resembling Arthur, Batman or Tarzan. In reality, Victor Man reinvented or reproduced from memory the heroic figures of the rare Western magazines—Pif Gadget and other journals for children—which he could only have access to sporadically and often "under the counter" in Communist Romania of the late 1970s and early 1980s. His drawings and small stories carry this double naivety, that of childhood and also that of a fantasy for a mysterious and inaccessible universe.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Entrelacs – Victor Man invite Navid Nuur”, Centre d'édition contemporaine, Genève, from May 18 to September 15, 2018.
Romanian artist Victor Man (*1974) won international renown when his work was presented in the Romanian pavilion at the last Venice Biennale. The event confirmed the strength of his work, which, in just a few years, has established him as one of the most interesting voices from Eastern Europe.
His work ranges from painting to sculpture, from installation to wall painting and printing. Using these tools, he builds installations in which the motif of memory intertwines with themes such as personal history, collective narration, eroticism, power, desire, and the feeling of loss.
The objects and images that he uses come from a more or less recent past: they have been removed from the passage of time or taken from magazines and books that, detached from their original context, take on new values and stimulate new narrations. The world of Victor Man is at times a dark one, in which reflections on the feeling of belonging and the nature of political and national identity overlay a more general contemplation of the human condition, melancholy, the violence of existence, and solitude.