The forest, by Cesc Abad. A real punch

The forest, by Cesc Abad. A real punch

We are talking about the visual and conceptual novel, El bosque , by Cesc Abad. An example of dystopia in a painting that starts from a personal imagination.

Visual and conceptual novel, El bosque, by Cesc Abad (Barcelona, 1973), self-taught and multidisciplinary artist, works on dystopia in a painting that starts from a very personal imagination. For the artist, dystopia represents a tool of social criticism, as was poetry at the time. You only have to look at the back cover of El bosque: "We mean it and they say it's raining." Abad says that he is betting on the dystopia of humanity's present – which is already unfortunate enough – as something that has already been established and that everyone has normalized, not as an idea of a believable agonizing future typical of science fiction novels.

The artist's relationship with nature

Cesc Abad shows a great interest in the relationship and the effect of human beings on nature - especially that of the Catalan Pyrenees - which, like the virus that we are, we are destroying at high speed. He chooses the post-impressionist brushwork and the most combative symbolism that does not abuse complicated metaphors but opts for the visual punch and to generate dozens of questions about what we are doing to the world. We read a shopping list consisting of a tree, a path, a shadow, butterflies, stones, birds, ants, a can of petrol and a box of matches. Through drawings, paintings, notebook clippings and prognostic photographs, Abad does not leave indifferent.

In one image, for example, a plastic bottle comes out with a label: "Mediterráneo 2050". Obviously, the water is disgustingly brown. The animals and the trees of El bosque are afraid of the human being, which has led them to extinction. A sad-eyed donkey says to the viewer: "I will keep silent about what I think of you." A yellow and beautiful parakeet is clear when he addresses the man: "As an animal you leave much to be desired." A fox doesn't care either: "You were the fox." The animal house – nature – helps us breathe, while the human house suffocates the animals.

In this direction, Cesc Abad paints a dystopian world in which the career of the animal species follows very different paths from the predetermined ones. As a scathing satire of human behavior – unfortunate, by the way – Abad has been said to invert Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory. In the theory of involution, the scenario is a civilization reserved for animals, more capable of developing suitable behaviors than humans, too obsessed with dangerous technological advances. A future full of inconsistencies, inconsistencies and lots and lots of bad milk. On the back cover, a humanoid is taking a log for a walk on a dog leash. El bosque is a book that, if you have a shred of common sense and dignity left, does not allow you to look away. "Man is a wolf to man", said the philosopher Thomas Hobbes. The artist Cesc Abad overcomes this idea and makes it extendable to the natural world in its most absolute sense.


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