Arte y pulpos -Miss Yucki-

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Disfraz de pulpo

A Miss Yucki le gusta el rosa, y por eso suele pintar todos sus dibujos con ese tonalidad pink. Miss Yucki en realidad no existe salvo en el algodón de azúcar que crearon los sudafricanos Alba Poretti y Kat Cameron.

Para más información se puede visitar la web de Miss Yucki

"Miss Yucki is a character creation of one Alba Poretti and Kat Cameron. Born and raised in South Africa, they have been friends from the moment they met at university in the dying years of the 20th century. Since then, many years of collaborative work and many hours of creative contemplation have given rise to a close friendship. Fuelled by endless cups of espresso, and a love of all things pink, they have spent many afternoons in The Attic, where they would concoct cunning plans for World Domination.

Since her humble beginnings as random doodles, Miss Yucki has grown into a complex and multifaceted character that embodies Alba and Kat’s desire to create and design. Miss Yucki serves as a vehicle for exploration the artists’ own identities within the context of the New South Africa as well as of various themes evident in daily life in urban Africa. The questions of urbanism, race, heritage, identity, positionality and new Africanism in the face of rapid urbanization are subtly and tactfully explored from Miss Yucki’s perspective. Miss Yucki provides us with a valuable set of eyes through which to view the world and she provides us with a spectrum of perspectives ranging from a playful, fantastical interpretation of daily life to scathing criticism of our societal values. The contrast between her youthful energy of childhood and strength and wisdom of adulthood is a direct result of Miss Yucki’s somewhat tragic life on the streets of Johannesburg where, in spite of the hard reality of life, she manages finds all kinds of treasures that bring her joy.

Alba and Kat aim to deconstruct the stereotypical images of Africa and instead present a unique experience of urban Africa. Through Miss Yucki, they combine diverse elements from urban Africa with popular culture through various mediums such as illustration, animation, character & doll design, and urban-wear fashion accessories. Their influences include Surrealist pop, Asian art and traditional African folklore, but much of the Miss Yucki mythology draws on the African urban landscape for inspiration and one should seek an understanding of Johannesburg in order to understand Miss Yucki.

Since the late 1980s Johannesburg has experienced a downward spiral of negative inner city trends such as high unemployment, poverty, deterioration of the built environment, rapid urbanisation, overcrowding and crime. However, Johannesburg is still the economic powerhouse of Africa and multitudes of people from all over the African continent arrive in Johannesburg to seek their fortunes. Trans-national migration has resulted in the most culturally and ethnically diverse Johannesburg ever. However, the internationalisation of Johannesburg has given rise to a large measure of xenophobia. African foreign nationals are blamed for an overcrowded informal trading sector, the growth of the narcotics trade and general physical deterioration. This may or may not be true, but the fact remains the dynamics of inner city Johannesburg are as complex as they are varied and allow much room for an artist’s response and social commentary.

Neighbour is piled on top of relative in rows of dilapidated apartment blocks. The main roads are crammed with cars and there is always a taxi or a police van obstructing the flow of traffic. Street vendors jostle for position on the crumbling sidewalks to sell everything from individual cigarettes to vegetables. Car guards in faded garments whistle after potential customers. Groups of school children play on the pavements or crowd the arcade-game shops. Telephone lines crisscross balconies and reach down into the street. Informal telephone operators provide a service throughout the day and contribute to the complex social, economic and technological networks that cover continental Africa.

While this is characteristic of many cities throughout Africa (and the world), Johannesburg has recently experienced an intensified urban regeneration drive with varying degrees of success. This has resulted in islands of gentrified corporate developments amidst a sea of chaos. As the corporates fight to regain the inner city and the poor cling onto their livelihoods, downtown Joburg has become a space where high-powered businessmen can brush coats with the homeless and the destitute. This contributes to the creation of a multiple, dynamic, diverse, hybrid and fragmented spaces and identities. The streets of Johannesburg can be as cold and ruthless as exotic and vibrant. In this self-absorbed city, where the focus is always on winning the rat race (and score is measured in economic gain), people often become faceless and there is little room for sympathy.

This is city that forms the backdrop to the story of Miss Yucki and this is the city that Kat and Alba have grown to love over the years. Miss Yucki's adventures reflect the artists’ own adventures, and the emerging imagery hints at their sense of the world. The narrative is constantly evolving as little misguided Miss Yucki gets up to her muti mischief on the streets of Johannesburg."


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