With ‘Marine Cartoons’, the Museum of Humour and Satire makes its first visit to the Gabenski Gallery, the NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ regional centre located in Tryavna. The exhibition of 28 cartoons, selected from the museum’s rich collection, presents 25 artists from 18 countries. Each one has a unique view on the theme of ‘the sea’: not only approaching it with a sense of humour, but also surprising us with an unexpected or curious point of view.
For some, the sea is a carefree summer vacation, for others a working day. But behind the personal, there is something else, often visible or perceptible only through the senses of an artist, and with a pronounced sense of humour, at that. Andrey Ryzhov (Russia) makes us laugh with a letter in a bottle washed up by the waves. In the exhibition, there are also fish protesters (Sava Babić, Serbia). The smiling boat is resistant to the sea elements (I. Lukyanchenko, Ukraine). It is not the biggest fish in the fishermen’s competition that wins a prestigious place, but the smallest, wearing a crown (Agris Liepiņš, Latvia). The work of Mahmut Akgün (Turkey) brings to mind the fairy tale, ‘Grandfather Pulls Up a Turnip’: a grandfather, grandmother and a grandson catch three fish, reminding us of a family. The castaways, who have happily discovered an island with a load of beer, fail to notice the neighbouring island with its shipwrecked women (Valeriy Chmyrev, Ukraine). David Fallows (Great Britain) takes us far north, where people sitting under a sunshade are having a chilled drink. The exhibition also includes an overcrowded island full of quirkiness (Jiří Vanék, Czechia) and a shipwrecked man for whom the TV show is more fascinating, despite the threatening elements surrounding him (Rainer Oswald, Germany). We see a lone fisher catching the last living fish before a wave of foreign matter sweeps it away (Jitet Kustana, Indonesia). In the ‘sea’, there is also Noah’s ark, different from the biblical one (Gergey Bacha, Hungary). Iliya Lipavtsov (Bulgaria) chose to take us ‘On the Waves of Life’ to show us the imminent fate of a child of divorced parents.
The exhibition, ‘Marine Cartoons’, is not intended to exhaust the entire smörgåsbord of emotions that the sea evokes. However, it will lend variety to our days and remind us that we should visit the Museum of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo.
The exhibition continues until 19 August 2021.