PLAGUE YEAR (1)
January 23, 2021
2020 Year of the Rat — Jan. 24
Looking back on the work I’ve completed in a calendar year is not something I’m prone to do, mainly because I see all the things I would have done differently. But I’m grateful for the opportunity (afforded by this HILOBROW series) to look back at 2020. The circumstances that trapped us in our homes and challenged us to respond throughout the past year gave me no shortage of material to joke about, be angry with, and attempt to move beyond.
In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2020 was the Year of the Rat. Rats are twisty and stretchy and they can conform to the shapes of numbers easily, so that was an attractive concept to work with. The Rat is representative of wealth and surplus, and people born in the Year of the Rat are considered optimistic, energetic and likable. It seems I ignored all that, however, and depicted these rats in a more typically Western fashion. They are dark and gritty, they look sneaky and suspicious. What did they know about 2020? I certainly couldn’t fathom what the year would bring, but it’s fun to imagine these creatures preparing to run, burrow and fight when backed into a corner because of the dangers that lurked ahead. Or, seen another way, they were the danger that lurked, bringing plague to unsuspecting humans.
CURATED SERIES at HILOBROW: LINOCUT 2020 by Lawry Hutcheson | CHALK.PRESS by Adam Netburn | PLAGUE YEAR by Rick Pinchera | NOOSFERA by Charles Glaubitz | CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE by Douglas Wolk | A SILENT HALLUCINATION by Alex Gerasev | BUNNY CITY by Gary Panter | HOP UP by Luc Sante | UNBORED CANON by Josh Glenn | CARPE PHALLUM by Patrick Cates | MS. K by Heather Kasunick | HERE BE MONSTERS by Mister Reusch | DOWNTOWNE by Bradley Peterson | #FX by Michael Lewy | PINNED PANELS by Zack Smith | TANK UP by Tony Leone | OUTBOUND TO MONTEVIDEO by Mimi Lipson | TAKING LIBERTIES by Douglas Wolk | STERANKOISMS by Douglas Wolk | MARVEL vs. MUSEUM by Douglas Wolk | NEVER BEGIN TO SING by Damon Krukowski | WTC WTF by Douglas Wolk | COOLING OFF THE COMMOTION by Chenjerai Kumanyika | THAT’S GREAT MARVEL by Douglas Wolk | LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE by Chris Spurgeon | IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Alexandra Molotkow | UNFLOWN by Jacob Covey | ADEQUATED by Franklin Bruno | QUALITY JOE by Joe Alterio | CHICKEN LIT by Lisa Jane Persky | PINAKOTHEK by Luc Sante | ALL MY STARS by Joanne McNeil | BIGFOOT ISLAND by Michael Lewy | NOT OF THIS EARTH by Michael Lewy | ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Colin Dickey | KEEPERS by Steph Burt | AMERICA OBSCURA by Andrew Hultkrans | HEATHCLIFF, FOR WHY? by Brandi Brown | DAILY DRUMPF by Rick Pinchera | BEDROOM AIRPORT by “Parson Edwards” | INTO THE VOID by Charlie Jane Anders | WE REABSORB & ENLIVEN by Matthew Battles | BRAINIAC by Joshua Glenn | COMICALLY VINTAGE by Comically Vintage | BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh | WINDS OF MAGIC by James Parker | MUSEUM OF FEMORIBILIA by Lynn Peril | ROBOTS + MONSTERS by Joe Alterio | MONSTOBER by Rick Pinchera | POP WITH A SHOTGUN by Devin McKinney | FEEDBACK by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FTW by John Hilgart | ANNOTATED GIF by Kerry Callen | FANCHILD by Adam McGovern | BOOKFUTURISM by James Bridle | NOMADBROW by Erik Davis | SCREEN TIME by Jacob Mikanowski | FALSE MACHINE by Patrick Stuart | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 MORE DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE (AGAIN) | ANOTHER 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | UNBORED MANIFESTO by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen | H IS FOR HOBO by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FRIDAY by guest curators