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Remembering Yuri Kosobukin

Remembering Yuri Kosobukin

By: Francisco Puñal Suárez 

If there is an immense figure of graphic humor at the international level, it is that of Yuri Kosobukin, who physically left us seven years ago. He died too young and pain invaded all of us who appreciated his immense work, where satire and irony were like whips with bells on the end.

His cartoons, awarded worldwide, characterized by his critical honesty, his artistic qualities and an unmistakable style, are there more alive than ever, as an important and vital legacy, for our comfort.

Kosobukin had the ability to make the invisible visible and point out the vices and defects of society and of human beings, by desacralizing everything obscene and absurd in our existence, by pointing out injustice, corruption, selfishness, dogmatism, wars, manipulation of the press, poverty, lies, simulation, contamination of the environment, religion, ignorance, and so many other evils that survive in this troubled world.

His intense work and brilliant talent allowed him to publish thousands of drawings in magazines and newspapers, in his many years of work. His drawings were exhibited worldwide. International competitions always longed for his cartoons and the juries awarded him over and over again. He won more than 450 awards and among them more than 100 first prizes. People admired and understood his work, despite the cultural differences, for its universal character, and for not having a text.

Kosobukin, born in Ukraine in 1950, published his first cartoon in the press in 1976. He knew that by working and creating daily, his work was known and applauded in many countries, and that also, by addressing the eternal human feelings and their contradictions, He was assured of an audience that followed him, and that the passage of time did not detract in the least from his drawings, often full of melancholy, and with an ironic and critical vision.

When Kosobukin made his first cartoons, he did not have an artistic career. He had studied aeronautical engineering in Kharkiv, and worked at the Antonov Aircraft Design Center in Kiev. He was 26 years old. Luckily for those of us who appreciate art, humor and caricature, from that moment of rupture and change, the talent of Yuri Kosobukin did not stop creating images that make us look at ourselves in the mirror of life.

His artistic scalpel penetrated where social situations are scenes of the daily dramas of humanity, and where people, from all walks of life, show, on many occasions, their ambitions and desires, in some cases repulsive.

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