The world that we live in is getting older and fragile everyday. Fossil records tell us that life on Earth has lasted at least 3.5 billion years. It has survived being frozen, clobbered by rocks from space, mass poisoning, even lethal radiation. Human civilization as we know it, has only been around about 6000 years old, but for only less than two centuries, we have done more damage to this planet than ever before. We continue to bravely march forward and faster towards globalization; a dream of one connected world, where we could all share our resources, experiences, capital and culture; to further accelerate our civilization toward perfection.
Today, we are closing in 2020, sharing the same pain, problems and sorrows through a pandemic that has kept us in closed doors. Suddenly we are all connected, everyone shares the same struggle and can relate with each other. Who would’ve thought that nowadays we just daydream about visiting our loved ones without wearing a mask, going to groceries, having coffee with friends or even just walking with our kids in our favorite park around the block with no fear or worry. We just daydream of simple things in between our routines in front of our screens. We are now just dreaming of normality, when we used to dream for the extraordinaries.
This encouraged Arkiv to revisit his fantasy and cartoon figures series where he found another perspective for his life, work and his creative process. Cartoons in early days are meant to be the reflection of children through the eyes of adults. The sole purpose is humoring the audience and conveying short meaningful stories that inculcated values in depicting society. Classical cartoon characters have been Arkiv’s inspirations. Through them, Arkiv tries to re-live the memories of hope and humor in today’s world. By combining his fictional character into some of his and his son’s favorite cartoon characters, painted in such ways that despair and hope come at the same time through gestures, expressions, colors and silhouettes of the characters.
In Silhouette, Arkiv explores the anxiety of today’s society in this challenging times. Captured in a series of paintings depicting cartoon characters in flat, and sharp lines to seek perfections with vibrant colors that somehow concealed yet revealing anxiety simultaneously. In some ways in this solo show, Arkiv’s painting is like an old friend patting you on the shoulder, telling you that it’s okay to not be okay.