Drawing Politics at Reinbeckhallen, Berlin, 2017
Dan Perjovschi was born under a communist regime in Romania, which now has a capitalist society. This is important because it affects his relationship with the news, specifically the newspapers he uses as both the substrate and subject of his works. Since 1991, Perjovschi has complemented his fine art practice by publishing his drawings in the Bucharest weekly Revista 22. Initially, this gave Perjovschi increased exposure for his work, as previously he was one of many artists stymied by Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Romanian dictator from 1965 to 1989. While today more newspapers worldwide are independent of state ideology, they are often still aligned with a particular political perspective. There are liberal newspapers and conservative newspapers — and those for every position in between. When Perjoschi travels to a city for an exhibition, one of the first things he does is purchase local newspapers. He then reflects on their headlines, immediately producing drawings with permanent black marker, either directly onto the newspaper pages or onto walls or windows of the exhibiting institution. His endearing, roughly-hewn doodles use irony and satire – tropes historically attributed to cartoons – to call out the most pressing stories – refugee crises, climate change, sexual assault, election fraud, the rise of right-wing extremism and the hypocrisy of capitalism, to name just a few. Much like a journalist, hyperbole is another literary device the artist uses as he extracts and re-presents the news, playfully reappropriating text and image. Perjovschi typically assembles these drawings in the form of expansive, mural-like installations that immerse the viewer.
Le mur après le mur après le mur at Michel Rein, Paris, 2018