Pablo Helguera


pen on paper
11 x 14 inches

Helguera’s Artoons owe their manner and style to the tradition of single-panel cartoons familiar from The New Yorker, but his primary focus on the Art World, on the system of assumptions and disparities that shapes this most misrepresented community, highlights the truths and absurdities that the artist, as “amateur anthropologist,” observes in the rituals and hierarchical differentiations of this peculiar and most specialized milieu. He satirizes art auctions and blue-chip galleries, celebrity artists and commercial art magazines, famous curators, bienniales, and art fairs; in other words, what represents the contemporary art scene…Helguera’s Artoons act upon that art scene, in which Helguera himself is a prominent member, to mock, or to self-mock, what continues to amaze this audacious artist: “We all take ourselves so seriously despite the fact that our rituals are so socially awkward, our writings are so incomprehensible and our art is so strange. Sometimes humor needs to come to the rescue to make sense of things.”

[excerpted from Octavio Zaya’s foreword for Helguera’s 2009 publication Artoons 2]