A Gallery of Satirical Art By Paul Kuczynski

One of the things we pride ourselves on is the ability to find interesting artists on the web.   The nice thing about the internet is that you can discover people in the weirdest of places.   Luckily I came across Paul Kuczynski who specializes in a satirical style that tends to focus on politics and the environment.

There are a ton Paul Kuczinski’s images on capu.pl,   but below you can some of our favorites.   These images definitely make you think about world issues and what’s going on around you…..

More art on the next page

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  1. Wow, satire by numbers. Do we really need another set of righteous artwork that tells us that life isn’t fair?

    Now, I don’t mind something intelligent and focused. But this is just a mess of images depicting simple concepts in ways that apparantly need to be spelled out in primary colours (figuratively).

    Poverty boo
    Carbon emissions boo
    Nasty people boo

    Is that really necessary? We all know already that politicans lie, museums are sometimes based on cultural plundering, fossil fuels are not pleasant to use or look at, and poor people need more money food etc. I’m not trying to dismiss these problems, as the do exist, but vague expulsions like this are sort of unhelpful.

  2. RBourn – I wasn’t aware that concepts such as corruption or poverty were topics that could be exhausted; at what point should we have gone ‘look, we’ve drawn a cartoon about poverty, it’s out there, lets call it quits’?

    Also, I’m pretty sure the artist isn’t sitting back with a smugly intellectual look on his face thinking “I can’t believe I’m the first person to think poverty is bad”, he probably just wanted to add his voice to the argument. Freedom of expression comes in plenty of forms, he’s chosen to give his opinion via cartoon.

    By the logic of your post: I’ve seen someone be cynical about the originality of satire before, was yours necessary? I don’t think it added anything to it. derision by numbers if anything…

    (Personally, I thought his cartoon on the ‘animal lover’ pandering to the cat and butchering the farm was very smart.)

  3. @nile

    [Apologies for the long post in advance]

    Maybe it’s because I know a few people who do just that, but I have exhausted my tolerance for people that love to express just how achingly concerned they are about the “big global issues”. My problem is not that he has expressed his feelings about those real problems via art, but that I don’t feel that it genuniely says anything.

    Lets take the animal one as an example as you were highlighting. The man is petting and feeding the cat while holding a knife with which to slaughter the farm animals on his left. What does this say?

    1. That human attitudes to animal welfare vary with the species. That it is inherently incongruous and even incorrect to treat one animal one way and another in a different way.

    2. um…

    Now, obviously every person sees a work of art in their own personal way, but that’s the only thing I can gather from this. Added to this, is the fact that I personally consider this one item of meaning to be fundamentally incorrect. Humans are animals and nobody has a problem with treating our welfare as more important than other animals, how many wild animals need housing? Dividing how we treat animals by species is an act of judgement, one which is incumbent upon each individual to decide upon. If you do not condone the slaughter of animals for food then don’t participate in it. Pet that cat, without the slaughter. Be a vegan or whatever you see fit. Why do we need to see this simple decision writ again? If this piece had something I could see within it that was different to what I had heard before, or something that made me think in a different way, even slightly, then I could say at least it does something with the material, but this just shows the same conundrum we have all probably faced before, without anything other than a vague impression attempting to direct us to the conclusion that animal welfare is important and those cute animals shouldn’t be slaughtered.

    Which is the final reason why I don’t like this piece. It deals with an issue that is very difficult to argue against, and so actually prevents debate. Is it really that enlightened to have a room full of people all saying “I feel poverty is bad.”? Is that a debate? Is that progression, will we reach some level of conclusion or change the opinion of those that disagree? No. If this piece dealt with the method by which people address poverty, or animal welfare, or racism or anything at all then it would say more and be more useful to people. Unfortunately, these pieces push all of the simple, easy to press buttons that blurt stock greivances with the world without having the energy or forsight to even try to stimulate a debate about how these real and present problems affect us and how they can be limited or prevented.

  4. If you really want to make a difference isn’t there a more meaningful way than drawing a picture. A child draws a picture, maybe even making a small REAL impact on any of these issues in the physical world would be more of a contribution than a snazzy picture. You really “sent up” povery with that scathing pic.

  5. Yes, humans are animals. Humans are animals that use logic, reason, and create highly advanced ecosystems for themselves. All of this puts us apart from animals, the argument that ‘humans are animals’ to justify our treatment of animals is a poor one. If you own a pet, and profess your love of all animals, it would serve you well to think of the animals that are being butchered in cruel conditions so that your pet may be pampered. You can’t be an ‘animal lover’ if what you do causes more pain than good.

    YES, we’ve heard it before, but people don’t pay attention, so until they do people can talk and talk and talk about it. If every time someone sees one of the many articles/cartoons on this or any other subject and thinks about it, then it’s worth it.

    Living an ethical life is difficult, as a species we’ve spend a good thousand or three years writing about it. Poverty IS bad, and yes, there isn’t much of a counter-argument, but that’s because it doesn’t need one. People need to be reminded of certain truths, because there’s nothing we all like more than forgetting difficult things.

    P.S. if images like this harm debate, what are we in the middle of?

  6. @ nile

    I would argue that this debate was caused by my criticism of this artwork, if I hadn’t posted what I had then would you be having this debate with me?

    I wasn’t attempting to use the concept of humans as animals to justify anything. I’m not making a moral argument for anything.

    “people need to be reminded of certain truths” Really. That my friend says volumes. Firstly, define for me “truth”. Then prove to me any single one of your personal moral beliefs is verifiably true.

    All judgement is opinion. “Poverty is bad” doesn’t explain why it still exists, obviously someone must think it is, if not good then necessary for it to continue. You can’t pass that off as “evil” people doing bad things, Sith don’t exist. Everyone thinks they are good, whatever they are doing. So the real thing we should be talking about is:

    “Why are we still in a position where people feel it is to their advantage to allow others to remain in a condition of absolute poverty?”

    That question, something which could have been represented in the form of an artwork, is far more pertinent question and would stimulate far more debate than simply restating that something is bad and expecting that is sufficient. Eventually, repetition drains meaning, and if shouting loudly at the problem didn’t work the first 1000 times then why should 1001 be any different?

    Again, at no point have I claimed anything about the issues dealt with, just the handling of them. I’m not saying anything at all about poverty, just that this particular representation is redundant and bereft of any discernable meaning that pushes forward the debate on these important issues.

    I say they harm debate precisely because of what you just posted. If your view that poverty is bad is such a self-evident truth then it does not require debate as the question is already answered. Our debate is about how these issues have been handled, and instead of saying “wow what can I to to help relieve poverty and hardship in the world” we are having a conversation about the nature of the artwork instead of what the artwork was meant to represent.

  7. @ Rbourn

    “Eventually, repetition drains meaning”

    Tell that to every religious person. Or is it just a fluke that thousands of people gathering in a room with like minded individuals and repeating the same things weekly (if not daily in some areas/cultures) reinfornces their beliefs.

    And as to those who say poverty isn’t bad but neccessary that would be those CEO’s and basically anyone who greatly benefits from capatilism (that would be the rich 1% that basically controls world commerce).

    THEY would be not be in billionaire 1% if they didn’t profit off the miserable and often times brutal working conditions of all the factories/workers etc. in 3rd world countries.

    Therefore because workers in china or india or where ever live in poverty companies can pay these workers pennies on the dollar and reap the profits.

  8. @Loki

    Good point, except that repetitious behaviour works for literally anything. It isn’t their beliefs that are reinforced, it’s their sense of belonging to a group and having contact with others breeds a sense of cameraderie no matter the activity. Studies have even shown that groups made to perform actions they didn’t even enjoy performed better as a group afterwards. You can chant any old stuff and it will develop a sense of group identity among the participants.

    What I was talking about was the meaning of a subject when it is repreated again and again and again. Say the word “macaroon” 25 times in quick sucession, then tell me it doesn’t sound unfamilliar when you use it in a sentence. The intellectual meaning of the words used to describe a concept drains away precisely because that actual meaning is lost among the group identity created by that repetition. Because everyone says the same stock phrases about big issues, those that believe in it become a group identity that people then become desperate to join and be visibly part of because they want the social kudos of having appeared to be part of the group. This does not deal with the problem.

    So, if it is CEOs and suchlike that are the root cause of all our problems, why has nothing been done about it?

  9. All of the serious arguments aside – you all should follow that link out to the website with more of his work. Some of the paintings there are really funny and well worth the look!

    If you want, I can go visit the artist (if he’s still here in Poland) and pass on your sentiments 😉

  10. @ CAB

    Please do, I’m sure the artist is a lovely person.

    Make no mistake, my criticism of these pieces of work can in no way be inferred as criticism of the person who created it. At no point have I mentioned him, spoke about him or made any negative comment about the person behind the work. I have clicked the link and looked through the pieces there. Similar stuff I suppose, but nothing that refutes what I said earlier.

    @ Thuckel

    Eat away, if you are comfortable with that.

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