In the FENTSTER window gallery, cartoonist Jonathan Rotsztain presents all new deceptively playful drawings and sculptures based on his "Self-Loving Jew” comics series, showing a cartoonish portrait of a conflicted, anxious yet optimistic thirty-something Jew. The installation makes visible how family, community and social context can unconsciously shape one’s patterns of behaviour. Rotsztain reveals how he inherited fears and successes, guilt and joys, neuroses and values not only from what was articulated to him but also from what went unspoken and unacknowledged. He transforms behavioural patterns into decorative patterns that adorn domestic settings. Artist-designed wallpaper on display in the window is dense with images of Holocaust fuelled fears, intergenerational trauma, and an inner struggle to reconcile a progressive, secular worldview with common narratives about Jewish life.
The artist will be on hand on College Street for a series of short talks about the installation at 3 PM, 3:30 PM and 4 PM.
Please note: FENTSTER is just two blocks west of The Beguiling. FENTSTER exhibitions can be viewed 24/7 from the sidewalk. If you can't make a pop-up talk, please feel free to swing by any time day or night.
Presented as part of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, May 10 - 12, 2019