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Dan Perjovschi

Dan Perjovschi is an artist who mixes drawing, cartoon and graffiti in artistic pieces drawn directly on the walls of European and American museums and contemporary art spaces. These drawings – both witty and incisive – comment on current political, social or cultural issues or events. His stark style of line drawing allows him to condense the conflicts and dilemmas of the world into a rapid-response commentary that is both political and honest.

Perjovschi garnered international attention at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999), where he covered the floor of the Romanian Pavillion with drawings and political graffiti about life in the post-Communist era. At the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) his drawings were included in the main International Exhibition. He has had solo and group exhibitions at the Tate Modern (London) and Tate Liverpool, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Kunsthalle Basel, Centre Pompidou (Paris) and the Moscow Biennale.

Formally trained as a still-life painter in a Soviet-style art academy in Romania, Perjovschi was encouraged to question the practicality of his classical grounding when the dictatorship of Nicolae CeauÅŸescu collapsed in 1989. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent rise of the European Union, Eastern Europe has seen a shift in its regional and national identities. This new political reality is fertile ground for Perjovschi’s tongue-in-cheek yet pointed observations, which have been sharpened by his background in journalism. Since 1991, Perjovschi has served as political illustrator and art director for the Bucharest-based independent magazine Revista 22, the first political journal founded in Romania after the fall of the CeauÅŸescu regime.

Perjovschi’s artistic practice has been influenced by artists of the 1960s and 1970s, newspaper cartoonists, the international art scene, and mainly by the media. In order to reach more people with his satirical thoughts on society, Perjovschi opted for the popular language of political cartoons. Inspiration for his drawings comes from a multitude of sources: conversations, rumours, newspaper articles, gossip, television, and global or local events. The illustrations are simple black marker line drawings, sometimes accompanied with succinct wordplay or punch line captions. With just a few strokes, Perjovschi sums up the current state of affairs with regard to religion, terror, nationalism or consumerism. The results are a hybrid of graffiti and activism with the best qualities of a good newspaper cartoon.


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