Liv Strömquist’s bold cartoons comment scathingly (and amusingly) on society’s major gender disparities.
On at the Institut Suédois, the Swedish cultural hub of Paris, until October, ‘Le Divan de Liv’ focuses on the work of Liv Strömquist, a Swedish cartoonist who delivers wry and acerbic commentary on some of western society’s most pressing problems. Inspired by the portrayal of women in history and also in the modern-day tabloid press, Strömquist’s work deals heavily with the disparities of power between men and women, and questions why there’s still such an obsession with the private lives of famous women, as evidenced in recent years with the controversies surrounding Whitney Houston and the Duchess of Cambridge. The artist treats these issues in light and subtle ways that won’t alienate a general public, and yet the humour in her work is never lost. It’s rare to laugh in a museum, but it’s pretty hard not to here, thanks to her canny subversions of well-known masterpieces, like Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’, which she transforms into a comic swipe at the sad state of modern relationships. Visitors are also provided insight into her major inspirations (Sartre, Frida Khalo, Asa Grennvall) through an informative video interview, while original sketchbooks reveal the creative processes behind her works.
TRANSLATION: FLORA HUDSON