Graphics of a country in ruins. Self-initiated project
2015
Personal, Illustration.
Some time ago, the artist Eugenio Cano explained to a mutual friend why he reproduced a symbol included in the identification system promoted by the United Nations to label vehicles carrying dangerous goods. Specifically, within class 4 (flammable solids), Eugenio took the one used to indicate substances emanating flammable gases at the contact of water: the white icon of a flame on a blue background. The world, he said, has become so cold that even the fire has frozen. That impressed me. Not only because of the vitality and pertinence of the ready-made work, one of the most fruitful gestures of the century, but also of giving a new proof of the sensitivity of art to detect, as if it were a seismograph, the slightest tremors of society: not yet begun the nineties, and the truth is that and this was just the beginning to much more to come.
It came to my mind when seen the drawings of graphic designer Ramon Soler. I would say that they share the same need to communicate the coldness of the world. Hence the extreme nakedness of the scenes, the maximum stripping, the cold range of the digital palette, the absence of any trace or hunch, not of heat, but of warmth, exaggerated cleaning, crystalline, sharp, hardest of desolations. Perhaps the logo, or the mark, of the glass of milk and water (and / or tear), is the sign that best condenses the cold universe that Ramón shows us. The cold world where no flames remain, the frozen universe that, unfortunately, inhabit so many fellow citizens. Ramon knows it well. And because of that, because he knows about this world, for him it is not enough to try to make it more tempered so that those who suffer it stop shivering, but needs to express it and spread it to try to alleviate it, and to make us ashamed of its existence. He does well, then, to purify his already clear-cut graphics, to avoid all that sentimentalism can do to present the cleanest and most synthetic images, in order, finally, to rely on the proven communicative effectiveness of the clear line. Because that’s what it’s all about: showing clear things. The thickness of guilt, for others. What these drawings want to call is for action.
Article by Francisco Baena. Director of the José Guerrero Center in Granada.