Art is a powerful form of expression, not just of beauty and aesthetic quality, but of ideas and protest as well. Cuban artist Angel Boligán is a master of this, delivering incredibly insightful critiques on the ills of the modern world within the confines of a single, beautifully drawn cartoon.
Boligán, who now lives in Mexico City after being invited to work at El Universal, one of the country's major newspapers, has received countless international awards and worldwide recognition for the way he highlights the rampant consumerism, loneliness, addiction and over-reliance on technology in Western society. "I am a social caricaturist, a graphic chronicler of the era in which we live," he told Bored Panda. "My drawings are usually conceptual, I like to provoke a smile accompanied by some reflection."
In his 38 years of working as a cartoonist Boligán's work has changed graphically, but he sees issues that have been recurrent in his work and are still very much relevant today. "Satire is a whip against these extreme leaders of our days," he explains. "It is a pity that humans do not learn from our history and our mistakes and we are again invaded by extremism, selfishness, blindness and mediocrity."
"The caricature does not kill anyone but it can stir the conscience. Intelligent, committed and honest humor connects with people, and I believe that we are each a very valuable grain of sand in the construction of a better world."
Boligán is inspired by life and society, and is a "hunter of ideas, emotions and the absurdities that are happening between us." He takes slices of humor, graphics, metaphors and a little poetry, and serves them up in ink with a touch of watercolor. And while he is happy in Mexico, Cuba is most definitely in his heart. "Of Cuba it is true, I left," he told us. "But I never abandoned!"
We here at Bored Panda have compiled a list of our favorite examples of Boligán's work, cartoons that will make you stop, think and perhaps realize the absurdity of our selfish and wasteful capitalist culture, which is slowly killing our relationships, our mental health and the planet we all call home.
Scroll down to check them out for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!