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THE COCKFIGHT: COMERFORD VS. TANBOULI

cockfight In ancient Athens, the painter Zeuxis and his contemporary Parrhasius staged a contest to determine which of the two was the greater artist. When Zeuxis unveiled his painting of grapes, they appeared so luscious and inviting that birds flew down from the sky to peck at them. Zeuxis then asked Parrhasius to pull aside the curtain from his painting, only for Parrhasius to reveal the curtain itself was a painting. Zeuxis was forced to concede defeat. Zeuxis is rumoured to have said: 'I have deceived the birds, but Parrhasius has deceived Zeuxis.'

Although this is from Greek mythology, it is often repeated in other cultures, a story about two artists showing off in front of each other.

This kind of competitiveness is not dissimilar to a cockfight: the male birds begin by an extreme display of feathers, strutting about parading in front of one another. They preen and show off. Then things escalate and the battle begins.

Studio 75 is going to host a cockfight: Nazir Tanbouli vs Jonathan Comerford.

Their work originates in graphic drawing; confident, expressive, and individual in style and technique. They are both accomplished and highly skilled artists with ideas, who've exhibited together before. But this is not an exhibition.

The Cockfight is an experiment: putting these two male artists together in a small space for a week, working with a range of drawing techniques on opposing walls. It will be a stressful and dramatic encounter between two strong-minded and stubborn characters. It's also a really "male" kind of act, and it will be interesting to see how the unfettered-by-politeness testosterone fuelled project affects their work.

Nobody else will be allowed into the Studio until the doors are opened to public on the 17th of March, to see whatever the outcome of the experiment may be.

The idea behind The Cockfight is to turn away from the smooth, “cool” and non-confrontational in contemporary art today, and return to the more visceral, more ancient tradition of head to head competition. 


 


- Gillian McIver
 

Jonathan Comerford

Jonathan Comerford's works portray his interest in the notion of transference migration by people, whether forced or due to circumstance, an interest that continues as a visual thread throughout much of his work. It has manifested from his own familial history, the immigration by boat of his British parents and attempt at assimilation into the insidious cultural and racial division of Apartheid, to his existential migration to his historical “cultural home.”

His current work portrays this transference from Africa to Britain through the use of imagery harvested from the environment he currently inhabits. The use of the wooden pallet, traffic cone and skip, iconic objects of the urban London landscape, illustrates his continued socio political commentary on migration, consumerism, power, politics, war, discrimination and a multi cultural society born of colonisation and the effects.

http://www.hardgroundprintmakers.com

Nazir Tanbouli

Since the very beginning of my career, I have been a figurative, narrative and expressive artist. I work in painting, drawing, mural and, more recently, printmaking.

I am mainly interested in exploring “the human condition;” more specifically, the human condition and the circumstances of my generation. I am deeply interested in story and myth as a visual and intellectual frame work. Story-telling is basic to our human need and ability to communicate with one another, and storytelling includes religious tales, mythology, fairy-tales, folk tales, urban myth, recorded history; even news and advertisement contains or conjures up stories.

http://www.nazirtanbouli.com