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Preposterous Reality Engenders Laughter

Why do people laugh? Outwardly a naïve question, but it is actually quite a complicated question. Hundreds of researchers have studied the nature of humor and failed to agree on an answer. There is definitely something enigmatic about man’s ability to laugh. James Kruss, a noted German author, wrote in his beautiful tale Timas Taleris, or Sold Laugh that laughter is inner freedom and that he that can laugh can point his finger at the devil.

It is said that having a good laugh is equal to having a good meal. Every nation has its own sense of humor, people like laughing all over the world. Absolute majority of people prefer laughter to tears. There is nothing racist in saying that some people have a more developed sense of humor than others. Laughter is not just a healthy manifestation of joviality – it is also a means of overcoming a difficulty or a failing or a misfortune. If, for example, you loose a sum of money which you hoped to use for some good purpose, you can give yourself to despair, you can plunge into the blackest of moods but it will not get your money back, no matter how much you lament having lost them. But if you laugh at your misfortune, the future may appear brighter, the loss not so painful and your restored cheerfulness will help you work harder and earn even more than you’ve lost.

Moldovan cartoonists carry on traditions of good Moldovan laugh and add some new dimensions to the art of cartoon. In this issue of our magazine we are happy to present to our readers the interview with Andrei Terentiev, a cartoonist from Chisinau.

Welcome: Where were you born and where did you go to school?

Answer: I was born on September 28th, 1965 in Chisinau. I studied in the Chisinau Art School for 4 years. I graduated from the Chisinau Art College named after I. Repin.

Why did you take up cartoon drawing?

To tell you the truth I have never had intention to take up cartoon drawing. I just liked painting. I remember a friend of mine who was good enough at painting. He drew cartoons too. He showed good results in all directions. It was him who pushed me towards trying myself in painting. In school I drew caricatures and cartoons to my classmates and friends. Then we all laughed at them. I spent the most interesting and funniest years of my life in school. All were young and sincerely believed that one should laugh more, that “five minutes of hearty laughter is a tonic for body and soul.”

What kind of opportunities does this type of living offer you?

I would like to take up cartoon drawing professionally. I plan to show my cartoons at many exhibitions all around the world. I am very glad when my cartoons make people laugh. I love a good laugh. I believe that cartoons help penetrate below the surface of reality and reveal what is hidden from the casual observer. Laughter has been proven to be healthy and humor can be slipped into any aspect of life. One must follow one’s life path with a sense of humor, for it helps one to cope with stress, while keeping one’s adrenalin under control. It is hard to imagine a periodical without cartoons these days. They are witty, cheerful, philosophic, spiteful; they have become a part of our daily life. Without cartoons our living mosaic would lose much of its color.

What is the creative process like for you?

Every artist has his or her own individual approach to art. In my understanding of it, the creative process can be a success when you devote a major part of your time to your work. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to spend a lot of time to the art of cartoon.

Your works are a reflection of reality. What goals do you set before yourself when you start working?

I believe that cartoonists, showing the ugliness, paradoxically seek the beauty. If man learns more about his vileness and baseness he is more likely to be drawn towards the beautiful which is inherent in man’s nature. The reality around us is so absurd and so preposterous, there are so many things happening in it, that this absurdity has inadvertently pushed me towards trying to understand this preposterous reality through laughing at it. The best way of overcoming the menacing absurdity is by taking the absurd to its absolute and idiotic limit. My primary purpose is to make one laugh.

Do you have anything to wish Welcome magazine and its readers?

Look at cartoons and laugh with us. Remember laughter is healthy.

Interviewed by Vlada Popushoi

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