As it happens, one only notices Per
|Per Marquard Otzen, "Buon Natale", Politiken, December 28. 2013.|
Oh, Michelangelo, Bramante, Sangallo, Bernini, and, and… were there too, we suppose. There is architectural genius in abundance within the drawing. But it is not their masterpieces to the greater unity that is the St. Peter's Square that we see. Nor Frans, the Pope. We see the world according to Per Marquard Otzen.
The drawing is a response to an editorial in Politiken by Christoffer Emil Bruun in the light of Pope Francis' first Christmas speech:
"One of the fundamental human questions is whether we are sovereign in ourselves. Whether you believe in God or not, the question is in itself a prerequisite to not let complacency take control."
A reflection about egocentricity and the attempt to put any explanation of something beyond ourselves, be it religious or otherwise, in a positive light that the cartoonist has returned to the very square where the words were heard on Christmas Day about empathy, understanding, and reaching out to people in need with a special mention of Syria.
Which is what makes the drawing so elegant. This is a double take on the subject in which the cartoonist uses himself as the bad example of our self-centered day and age. Our constant need to pinpoint that we are here, look at us! - When at the same time this is a drawing on what the cartoonist does per se. He puts himself at stake. He is the one who enters into direct dialogue with the Pope and the subsequent editorial. The presence of the two arrows pointing at the Pope and Per respectively is no coincidence. One is the analyzed, the other the analyzer. Per is present on our behalf, he puts himself out there every time.
So, a drawing on the cartoonist's every day life. Another day at the office. And what a gift to us all.
Happy New Year and Happy Cartooning ahead!