Pojucan, in his studio in Rio de Janeiro
The basic icon
Pojucan is a graphic designer and visual artist in Brazil. In 2002 he published as a book a series of icon heads, one for each day of the year. The book was "365", a long-cherished dream and a cause celebre in the Brazilian art world and elsewhere. Each image was a variation on an icon head, which Pojucan found in a clip-art collection. It was, he wrote, "The figure I had been looking for for over two decades. The ideal character." It was a turn-of-the-century elegant male figure, with hair, mustache, clothes and pose. Pojucan proceeded to "decharacterize" it by balding the head, removing the moustache and imposing the mouth of a woman. That "basic or matrix figure" is shown above. "Now I had my icon," he says. Throughout the series the face is always the same, deadpan and without expression, but the variations are startling, even surreal. One critic noted "the emotional neutrality of the vacant and almost idiotic stare...The fact of this face remaining untouched is what dehumanizes it. As if it were continually telling us that it is a drawing. ...[the variations] undecided between sobriety and laughter...a compendium of common nonsense...anti-cartoons with humor giving way to the feeling of unease." This selection of 24 from the series was made by the artist. He worked exclusively in Photoshop.