Sketchbook # 18: Ebenezer Singh

1. Superman I Homage to Nietzsche

I’ll let Nietzsche himself introduce these drawings:
“To ‘give style’ to one’s character — a great and rare art! It is practiced by those who survey all the strengths and weaknesses that their nature has to offer and then fit them into an artistic plan until each appears as art and reason and even weaknesses delight the eye.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

And Ebenezer Singh explain a bit more:

Superman – Homage to Nietzsche

These B/W watercolors on Indian handmade paper are paradigmatic self-portraits. The imageries of Asian elephants with my self-portraits create curious paradoxes of scale and order allegorically depicting symbols that subsumes the psychological profile that reflect Claude Levi-Strauss’ principles of socio-political order, which note the alleged intellectual superiority of the ‘civilized’ over the ‘savage’.
In these works, I try suggesting possible ‘surreal implications of the unconscious self ‘as have been ethically explored and expounded in a Nietzschean ideal world of the Uber-mensch or ‘Superman’. In these watercolors I maintain a certain ambiguity, at the least a certain vagueness, not to obviate my intentions. In the series ‘Superman-Homage to Nietzsche’, there are two aspects of my imagery that convey, 1. the embedding of words with self-portraits and 2. the use of scale. In the first aspect of ‘poetry concrete’, my wordage like ‘joke’, ‘neck me’, ‘dupe’, ‘mama’ and ‘trickster’ are loaded with connotations and emotionally subjective perspectives. In the use of scale, the situations depicted pose moral dilemmas in which the character is placed in positions of subservience or of dominance to other characters or to animals, especially the elephant, where normal scales of size and associated power are inverted, doubled, or compounded in numbers. The indication of the ‘subliminal’ reveals the issues of instinctual aggressions and the purpose of dominance and there is a strong cathartic and gestural sensation in these monochromatic watercolor works.



2.Superman II Homage to Nietzsche


3.Superman III Homage to Nietzsche


4.Superman IV Homage to Nietzsche


5.Superman V Homage to Nietzsche


6.Superman VI Homage to Nietzsche


7.Superman VII Homage to Nietzsche


8.Superman VIII Homage to Nietzsche
9.Superman IX Homage to Nietzsche


10.Superman X Homage to Nietzsche


11.Superman XI Homage to Nietzsche


12.Superman XII Homage to Nietzsche