Friday, April 24, 2009

Interview with Ray Alashaab newspaper !

Musa Hamed from Ray Alshaab newspaper made this interview in 9/4/2009 and here is part of it.

Caricaturist, Talal Nayer: The time of laughter is over!!

Interviewer: Musa Hamid

The cartoonist Talal NaYer is one of the creators of modern lines in caricature, his cartoons exceeded laughter and entertainment in this area. Nayer have visions and views in this matter. In this interview, we discussed with him the nature and usefulness of art

Tell us about your beginnings and who had the significant impact on you to practice caricature, especially at private and public level?

My first beginnings were very modest and normal, the ideas were simple and very superficial, when I go back to see it from time to time, I have discovered it was saturated with childishness and absurdity, and the lines are swaying confusedly. In fact, it's me who has been shaking and confused, I do not know how and from where to begin? And at any point must I put my next steps.

As any immature artist, my first steps were staggering on the way of greater Sudanese school of caricature which found by the late caricaturist Ezzedeen Osman; from which most of Sudanese caricaturists emerged. But I was feeling dissatisfied and unable to keep up with it, I did not know why exactly. Do my weak skills as a beginner deprived me of required confidence then? Was the reason that I was still in the beginning of the road and I didn’t absorb the career well? Was the reason that there was no one to guide me?

I don’t know what the reason exactly, until I got to the real starting point where I found myself and managed to catch inquires to all my confused questions.

My hobby is reading and collecting books and second-hand magazines, which I began more than a decade ago during my passing in front of coliseum cinema - where sellers of books and second-hand magazines where gathered . I found an old issue of London-based Almoshahid magazine. I picked up it and it was dated December 30, 1995. I came across three cartoons within an interview with the Syrian artist Ali Farazat. I was admired his way in transplanting ideas, seriousness of proposition and distinction of his issues, so I think that Farazat and his few works which I have seen was the greatest incentive to me in order to disobey the Sudanese traditional school of caricature. Farazat's art was an important factor in formation of my current figure (Nayer).

Initially I feel dread, even thinking of trying to paint in this way, but after three days of thinking , I tried to paint without comment, but I found it difficult at first, then Isolated myself in the house for several days ,I bought pens and papers and decided to accomplish this task at any cost. I have taken the gloves of challenge within a short time. At that moment I decided that this would be my new way in caricature.

* To where the courage of taking up the glove of challenge led you?

- After my work in newspapers for short period, I decided to be more challenge and engage in a wider circle of competition with more experience and qualified colleagues, at all times I aspired to develop my level and not childish boasting about my works. I don’t ridicule those who are less than me in the technical level, but the contrary, I respect them too much, because I know that I one day was in a much lower level of them , and I know that some of them surpass me in talent ,but also I know that I more diligent of them, so I try to help them because I did not find one to help me , I would like to alleviate the suffering that faced me in my beginnings and to shorten road to them with no guide.

On the other hand, I often take advantage of them, and avoiding their mistakes, also I benefit from the artists who more talent and experience, I don’t attack them or bear a grudge against them never, on the contrary their good ideas consider challenged and incentive to reach this level.

I consider myself just a new student at the School of Caricature, in which I learn one new lesson every day. Personally I think that caricaturist can be created and the talent alone is not enough. Caricaturist needs incentives to develop.

I have showed my experiment to prominent artists who I did not know them before at all to get opinion free of courtesy. First, I sent my works to American caricaturist Dwayne Booth (Mr. Fish), who paints cartoons in the Harpers Weekly magazine. He has made useful remarks on the way of coloring and drawing which I was used. Then later he advised me to stay away from the typical method which distinguish caricature in the Middle East and gave me an example, saying if I wanted to point out that George W. Bush is devil, I must not to paint him as shape of devil, but I have to point out his actions which prove that. I guess this type of caricature is lines overlap with the colors, but the final outcome is shining colors painting but free of content and its message confused.

Later, American caricaturist David Baldinger introduced me to Cuban artist Arístides Esteban Hernández Guerrero (Ares), who I consider him as the greatest influence in my career where he encouraged and helped me. Ares was the gate of my knowledge in the field of caricature. He is one of the pioneers of Latin School of Cartoon, which I followed and affected by it too much in my works, and this let me know many friends from Latin America and especially from Brazil.

What is the message that you think you need to send across your daily caricature through newspapers? I mean, the core issue which associated with any line you paint or any color you add to any painting for any white paper?

I believe that any caricaturist should carry clear message of awareness , this awareness maybe take a political form in most cases, this may not satisfy some who are trying to avoid politics. I have way in caricature which I called (theory of the tree) and it can be explained as follows:

If you see that a tree has damages and you want to uproot it, you will not only wipe its trunk and remove some leaves from dry branch, but you must focus on the original and uproot it from the roots at all.

I believe that the politicians are scourge of Sudan; every problem its origin a political problem such as poverty, unemployment, spinsterhood and crisis of the sport, I can prove that if in some respects, not all of them. Therefore, I focus on the direct political issues unlike some colleagues who mock the details of daily small suffering such as the provision of food, the problem of transportation and the money. But when I collected all these details, I discovered that it forms a single word with clear and large letters is (corruption)!

I am working on the criticism and revealing the main causes of our suffering and not the side effects, I think that any caricature as (direct free-kick)!

Caricature between the ghoul of joke, laughter and social reformative treatment? How to assess this balance?

- I think that caricaturist must provide political and social awareness through his work, because the hand which holding pen is one, but it must express issues of thousands and millions of the oppressed and the marginalized. Caricaturist must not paint to his personal glory, also caricaturist should not consider himself as government-employee to fill in white rectangular area in a page, and also he must not make himself joke to entertain some readers. Here I mean who working in the political press only, where some of people make caricature is synonym for jesting. When I meet some people and they know that I'm caricaturist, they expect me to tell jokes, but I'm not clown to draw jokes for readers, I raised the slogan of (the time of laughter is over).

We laughed at our pain and our tragedies enough time, but the wiping on wounds doesn't cure it and analgesics do not treat the cancer. I know that my speech quite rough, but the truth is more severe than that.

I don’t know how person can laugh amid all these tragedies and smile amid these tears and bloods.

I think that joking in this critical time considered misleading for minds and unreasonable vanity in the time of seriousness!

Some day, one of the readers met me and asked me:

( What is the reason makes you painting these gloomy and sad ideas ? ), (the situations are gloomier) I answered .

This link lead to Zikson Magazine which I thank them for publishing the interveiw.
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