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A new art in the making


June 22, 2006

The picture you see above is a cartoon (????) by the artist Mazloom. The picture is of the funeral of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s father. A happening of no relevance to us and our efforts for a better Iran. Now let us take a closer look at this piece of art.

As it has become customary for these days, such masterpieces are published in the satire/cartoon section.

But what is there cartoonish in this cartoon? You might say the people depicted in it, but that is another discussion. What Mazloom has presented us with here makes him as much of an artist as, let’s say, umm, actually can’t think of anyone I know. Maybe my sofa.

What reveals his real talent is his own admission that what he does is neither satire nor art. He calls it “tamaskhor,” and by God, until I had read the caption, I had been wondering how to classify these recent surges of bubbles in pictures (BIPs) produced by some newcomer talents at Tamaskhor is what they are, nothing more and nothing less. An insult on the person (here Ahmadinejad) and an insult on us readers’ intelligence.

So my proposal for is to come up with a section called Tamaskhor where the likes of Faramarz, Mazloom, Wolak, Radmehrian, etc can freely print their BIPs, and where the rest of us would know where to look for if we wanted Tamaskhor. There are many good cartoonists and satirists in the cartoon section, from all over the political spectrum, and it is a pity to have their works mixed with those of the Tamaskhorist genre.

If we again look at the caption, we’ll notice the real punch line of the picture, that Mazloom has the audacity to call his clones for Caricaturists. Do these Tamaskhorists have access to dictionaries? Caricatures are drawings and not some scribles on already existing pictures.

For letters section



Book of the day

The Pursuit of Pleasure
Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900
by Rudi Matthee

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