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Derek Mawudoku

♥ ♦ ♠ ♣ Disunion Jack  (2019)

Derek Mawudoku’s Disunion Jack (2019) quartet of posters for flyingleaps train a beady eye on Conflict, Money, Desire and Work in the 21st century. Clubs equals conflict, unrest; Diamonds wealth and power; Hearts is love, or a contemporary performance of it; Spades is work. Dynamic mark-making and pared down, adroit composition intensify his mode and theme: a bold, figurative critique of society’s ills.

Mawudoku’s imagery, in the words of renowned artist and educator Jon Thompson, ‘is always raw and uncompromising. Often heavy with psychological affect… fear… joy… pain… Sometimes it is childlike, giddy, funny, sometimes angry. Always it is intensely human.’ The four Disunion Jack (2019) works evince a powerful energy, directness and pin sharp, timely social critique.

Things aren’t easy. There are no glib answers. We’re all flawed. But we’re not dead in a ditch. Mawudoku’s drawings are witness, testament to troubled times, psychologically – fuck, Tory bias on the mainstream media is doing heads in – and visually, reflecting the ideas and emotions, idiocies and gut reactions that dog a nation coming apart at the seams. But there are progressive options. It’s time to change the dealer. We need some fresh cards.

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