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Dzama, Marcel
Untitled
2001

Marcel Dzama is well-known for his small-scale, ink and watercolour drawings of human figures, animals and strange, imaginary hybrids which have both a folksy innocence and powerful dose of menace. This work showcases a central female figure with a second pair of arms instead of legs, holding a gun in every hand, surrounded by a circle of female heads. Dzama has been known to draw from a broad range of stylistic sources including, Beatrice Potter, MTV, comic strip characters, film noir, science fiction, surrealism; all references and allusions to our collective memory of the way in which the 20th Century was represented rather than the way it was. His work does not illustrate any specific narrative, instead remaining ambiguous; the fragmented and isolated drawings on the page resembling dream sequences and flashbacks. The brown, blue-gray and olive palettes have the impoverished quality of 1950s interior design which provide a suitable setting for the random exploits of sub-standard cartoon characters who have leaked off the celluloid in an old film archive. Dzama strips his figures of all circumstances, essentially stripped clean of narrative potential; figures are left bare and simple with traces of unspoken inhibitions falling away. His characters become the very embodiment of inner conflict.

 
Dzama, Marcel
Winnipeg MB 1974
Untitled
2001
Watercolour
overall: 30.5 cm x 24.2 cm
Gift of Herbert O. Bunt, 2007
50-017.11

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