Art is Comic at MIMA Museum

A Sunday afternoon with no plans and lots of free time is the ideal occasion for visiting the MIMA Museum. Located in Molenbeek commune, in the North of Brussels, the huge industrial building usually hosts a number of interesting and unusual art exhibitions. From the 23rd of June to the 31st of December, the museum displays an expo based on comics. The idea started after the terroristic attacks in Brussels: the curators felt the need of bringing a smile, a relaxed environment and some support to the city, after the hard times it has been through.

For this reason, the expo hosts the works of some of the most known and actual artists of the moment, who gained their notoriety and fans also through the internet and street art. The three floors host the pieces of Joan Cornellà, Jean Jullien, Brecht Evens, Mon Colonel and Spit, Huskmitnavn and Brecht Vandenbroucke.

All the artists represent modern topics and issues through different styles, humors and point of views, underlining the contradictions, the problems and the everyday struggles the visitors themselves face.

For example, Joan Cornellà critiques the morality and taboos of society by pairing commercial-like characters and pastel tones with extremely violent and politically incorrect situations. He underlines people’s compulsive relationship with phones and social media through black humor. Brecht Vandenbrouke tries to represent the world we live in and the tension between people through crowded, colorful and flexible shapes. He touches upon topics like same-sex relationships, discrimination and the growing social importance of companies like Vevo and iTunes.

Brecht Evans exposes at MIMA his latest work, “The City of Belgium”, in which he represents detailed images of apartments, bars and urban landscapes with mixed techniques based on watercolor. The soft trait, the dream-like universe and the central role of color enrich the story, underlining the emotions and the relationships between characters.

Mon Colonel and Spit combine drawings, sculptures, ceramics and other objects to portrait the changes, memories and influences collected by the Western society in the last 40 years. Huskmitnavn’s style is more inspired by graffiti and street art, while Jean Jullien has a more traditional and clean style, that portraits the everyday life with humor and playfulness.

The exhibition is funny and entertaining, especially on the last floor: the visitor is invited to interact with the pieces and to draw something for the mural. Moreover, the works of art exposed do make the visitor reflect on the issues portrayed, offering an external and strong point of view on the modern society and on our relationship with it. The growing importance of multinational companies, the social bias, the constantly-changing trends, the desires of people and the everyday interactions are depicted with precision and stressed by the artists.  The exhibition is overall good and gives good food for thought, nonetheless, it could have been more rich and detailed: some more information on style, techniques or the history of comic could have been useful.