On the emergence and development of comic-cubism
ditArdo studied at the Merz Academy in Stuttgart in the early 1980s and tended towards surrealism in his artistic language. At the end of the 1980s / beginning of the 1990s, he worked for the Stankowski and Geipel studios, among others, illustrated the Moorgeist as a book illustrator in 1991 and was a freelance lecturer for representational drawing at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart as well as at the Merzakademie (College of Design) until 2004.
At the beginning of the 90s, he developed his characteristic artistic language of ‘comic cubism’.
The term was then coined in 2004 by Fred Feuerbach in connection with ditArdo’s paintings before a wide audience. It describes the formal approach of the overlapping stylistic terms ‘comic‘ and ‘cubism‘. The comic is characterised by the means of line and surface, whereby the space is also defined by the surface. The striking effect is used together with synthetic ‘cubism‘, the simultaneous and superimposed depiction of different views or perspectives, to make contrasting statements about the subject or experiences. The motif becomes a pictorial symbiosis of everyday experiences, dreams, of lines, colours, structures. For example, the ‘Yellow Cat’ stands for the image of laisser-faire, of roaming around in the midday sun.
Questions about the fourth dimension in the artistic process of observation arose in 2005, primarily in sunny Jakarta. What colour are the streaks of light over the water, how much time is eight months, is time yellow, red or blue?
Chewing gum and Coca-Cola
His childhood in the 60s, like that of so many others of his generation, was marked by comic figures, ‘pop art’, chewing gum and Coca-Cola. But while other children struggled with English, Latin or physics at school, ditArdo used every minute of his school time to draw, and draw ‘comics’. Inspired by comic artists like Disney, Uderzo or Charles M. Schulz, ditArdo drew mostly self-developed characters.
Role models and inspiration
Pablo Picasso was already impressed by Rudolf Dirks and other US American comic strip artists, and so there has always been a connection between the comic strip and ‘Cubism’, which was celebrated as revolutionary, in art historical terms too.
Of course, ‘Cubism‘ with all its generally famous representatives from Picasso to Braques plays a role in the work of the ‘comic cubist‘ ditArdo. But works by the ‘cubism‘ critic Henry Matisse have also inspired him through their flatness and colouring.
During his studies at the Merz Academy, ditArdo then also drew characters such as Tick, Trick and Track or Donald Duck for cinema commercials. This was quite lucrative weekend work. These works with well-known ‘comic’ characters remained the exception. At this time, he also produced some mystical and surreal pencil drawings as well as several nature studies.
The first comic cubist paintings
At the beginning of the 90s, ditArdo painted his first ‘comic-cubist’ pictures. In them, the figure no longer took the leading role, but rather the interplay of the different perspectives, the coloured surfaces, the lines and structures.
Realism and Abstraction
Later, some of these became so abstract that eventually no whole figures were recognisable, but only the lines and shapes were reminiscent of ‘comics’. From then on, ditArdo began to add realistic elements to its ‘comic’ figures. In the meantime, realistic elements are mixed with comic-like forms. New aesthetic elements and also surreal sceneries emerge.
In the meantime, the term ‘comic cubism‘ is spreading and will thus establish itself as an art genre of its own within pop art.