Toy_Box - Don't Look at Us! Kala Azar and comp.
The exhibition is a result of a cooperation between comics author and street-artist Toy_Box and an international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders. It personifies diseases and causes of death that impact lives of billions and a half people worldwide. The exhibition shows the impact of these diseases, their causes and possible solutions.
Panels of the Artwall Gallery feature images of scary creatures and demons. At first glance, it seems as if they were illustrations of horror comic books or scenes from mythologies of distant cultures. The current exhibition is indeed related to far-off countries, but unfortunately, the characters are based on reality not fiction. The images by a Czech street art and comics artists Toy_Box personify so called neglected diseases The exhibition, organised together with the international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, highlights the impact of these diseases, their causes, and possible solutions.
In her oeuvre, Toy_Box frequently tackles social problems and deals with stories of people on the margins of society. Her work is often based on stories that evoke unpleasant themes. In the exhibition created for Artwall Gallery she introduced five diseases and causes of deaths: black fever – kala azar, Chagas disease, sleeping sickness, tuberculosis and snakebites. Diseases, whose originators are invisible to the human eye, and that demonstrate themselves namely in the form of their symptoms, are portrayed as ominous demons.
About Doctors Without Borders:
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian organisation that provides expert medical assistance to people at risk and in the event of crises. Currently, it provides health care in more than 70 countries worldwide with the help of nearly 38,000 local and more than 3,500 international collaborators. In a number of projects, they treat patients suffering from neglected illnesses. The organisation has a record of rising awareness regarding these diseases. Together with others, MSF also seek to contribute to the development of treatment by means of an initiative Drugs for Neglected Diseases (DNDi). One of the basic principles of MSF is also to bring witness to the humanitarian crises they deal with and the people they help.
About the Author:
Toy_Box studied stage design at Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Her work has roots in the techno and anarchist scene. In addition to illustrations and comics, she engages with street art and art with social themes. For her existential graphic novel, My Book Vinnetou, she won the Muriel Award (2015) for the best original graphic novel and the Golden Ribbon Award (2016) awarded for best children’s books.
Photo of the exhibition at Artwall: Martin Micka