August 20, 2010

Drawings: Robert Longo, Rómulo Celdrán

I had never thought about the order of the expressions "black & white" and "blanco & negro", till I bumped for the first time with the German phrase "Schwarzweiß". It seems that most of the languages put first the "black" and then the "white" except for Spanish and other related languages such as Català or Galego.

Why? My theory is that "blanco" is phonetically closer to "black". Whoever established the phrase wanted to remain close to the sound despite the order of the concepts. Black sounds like blanco.

I was thinking about this yesterday while checking out the drawings of Robert Longo, the famous artist who began in the late 1970's to draw twisting businessmen "trapped in ice" for "Men in the cities". The aesthetics became widely popular in the 2000's thanks to a scene of "American Psycho" and the iPod adds. He is directing the new campaign of Bottega Veneta.

Last week, I also saw the work of Spanish artist Rómulo Celdrán. While Longo draws on white surfaces with charcoal, Celdrán draws on black surfaces with chalk. Both works are amazing. And while Longo's interest relays on nature, such as waves and women, Celdrán rather focuses on useless things which we use daily.

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