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No Laughing Matter

Utilized for their ability to convey a strong message quickly and with the most basic of elements (some don’t even require you to read in order to understand their message), political cartoons have become a cherished aspect of political discourse worldwide. Legendary Spanish artist Francisco de Goya dabbled in proto-political cartooning, and his efforts are currently on display at Cal State Fullerton. The exhibit, dubbed “Los Caprichos,” consists of 80 single-panel etchings Goya created in response to the social and political climate of Spain at the turn of the 18th century, a time marked by economic turmoil and social conservatism. Goya attempted to present a perspective informed by the Enlightenment, arguing that humans need to cast off the yoke of superstition and repression in order to improve. Like the best of Goya (and the best political art in general), “Los Caprichos” is alternately funny, grotesque, bizarre and frightening. The exhibition couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time, as the country is faced with its own difficult decisions regarding superstition and repression. Go see the exhibit and be either comforted by the universality of human experience or dismayed at the fact that we are still puzzling over many of these issues 200 years later.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, noon. Starts: Nov. 1. Continues through Nov. 24, 2008


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