Artist Talk with Tonel
Las partes que más me sudan cuando me pongo nervioso [The Parts of Me that Sweat the Most When I Get Nervous], a large, diptych drawing of a sweating male nude, is both a self-portrait and a fictional character. The work, installed in the main floor of Koerner Library evokes graphic humour while dealing with marginal aspects of human sexuality and the physical nature of bodies. Connotations of a day-to-day physicality, including scatological and psychological concerns come through in the image of a sweating, nervous man,whose placement leaves him open to inspection and scrutiny. Irony plays a role, as this peculiar personal moment subverts any common notion of male machismo. In the tradition of cartooning, a bare minimum of line and written text convey a simple message about bodily function that leads to a related question: what personal moments are occurring in our bodies when we are in public situations?
Antonio Eligio Fernández, known as Tonel, is an artist, scholar, critic, and curator. He has worked extensively in Cuba, Latin America, Europe, Canada and the United States. His early formation as an artist included regular publication of his drawings and cartoons, notably in DDT, a bi-weekly humour magazine published in Cuba in the 1970s. His articles and essays on Cuban and Latin American contemporary art have been published regularly in Cuba and elsewhere.
This project is a collaboration of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and the Walter C. Koerner Library at the University of British Columbia, and is made possible by the generous support of the Audain Foundation.