Disney Doodles by Ekaterina Belukhina

Anna Spirina04/05/22 17:37599

Reviewed by Ana Spirina, Paris, France

A series of works showing Disney characters through the eyes of a child. The paintings are made in mixed media. Pencil lines are integrated into the painting. Next to the animals depicted in a manner close to animation, images appear from the walls of entrances, notebook fields, desk covers. This is the picture of the world of a child, on the one hand enthusiastically absorbing the magical world of Disney, and on the other, surrounded by the far from glossy depiction of reality.

Flounder, Oil on canvas, 2022
Flounder, Oil on canvas, 2022

Compositionally, the works of the series also refer to children“s drawing. They are characterized by a naive attitude towards the artistic plane — no matter where the top, bottom, edge and center are, the images are located where the author saw them and are not connected by a rigid structure either formally or semantically (for example, Piglet”s head grows directly from Winnie Fluff). At the same time, the works retain their integrity, these are not children’s drawings, in which the result is often not important, but consciously reflected and reworked impressions of a tender age.

Colour works on a similar principle in a series. The coloring of the works included in it is obviously joyful, but the colours that make it up are complex, not typical of a toddler`s drawings or animation.

In addition to stories with Walt Disney characters in the series, there is another Western influence on the cultural field in which children existed at the turn of the century. The introduction of inscriptions, bizarre lines, contour drawings into the pictorial space of the canvas refers to the graffiti genre. Street art is perhaps the most recent phenomenon present on the art scene today. The use of his techniques when working with traditional media (canvas and oil) in combination with “childish” subjects endows the work with a “new sincerity”, which the metamodern is looking for.

The source of this immediacy, among other things, is the unconscious. The reference to it occurs in the process of semi-automatic drawing: the pencil sketches present on the canvas resemble drawings that appear during a telephone conversation or a boring lecture, as if against the will of the author. The spontaneity of unpolished lines in this case gives rise not to the fabrication of surrealism (which also turned to the unconscious), but to a feeling of sincerity from the neglect of the illusory nature of the image.

Tweety, Oil on canvas, 2022
Tweety, Oil on canvas, 2022

The author“s adult reflection on the theme of children”s perception in the plot is combined with its opposite — children“s reflections on the elements of adult life. For example, Piglet starts smoking. This logically fits into attempts to analyze children”s perception of reality, because the attributes of “growing up” were originally scooped by us from the same mass culture in which Disney cartoons existed.

Piglet and Pooh, Oil on canvas, 2022
Piglet and Pooh, Oil on canvas, 2022



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