Philosophy and urination aren’t topics often combined in art, but it’s a niche in which illustrator Cornelius De Bill Baboul appears to be an expert. “I have read philosophy on the toilet seat for almost ten years,” he explains, describing his new zine with publisher Nieves as “the thesis for my PeeHD in Peelosophy”.
Peelosophies is a tongue-in-cheek depiction of the writings of Nietzsche, Leibniz, Derrida and other philosophers in the context of urination, featuring a mixture of illustration methods that aim to mirror each writer – some less conventional than others.
“For each philosopher there’s a specific tool or technique which matches to and translates the style of the writer. For example I did paint Schopenhauer with the actual tail of my poodle, I literally used it as a brush. Schopenhauer had a poodle himself and it was one of the most important ‘people’ in his life, therefore this technique became completely self-evident!”
He was inspired particularly by Emil Coran, whose “shrewdness, humour, and self-irony, despite his profound despair, makes me laugh a lot”. The starting point, though, was a quote by German philosopher Hegel from 1837: “It can be considered as certain that the spiritual expression is concentrated in the face and in the attitude and the movement of the whole.”
Cornelius says this made him consider how the attitudes we take in our everyday lives can refer to our way of thinking. “Which leads to this essential question which hasn’t been answered before: how would some unique thinkers urinate in their own way?”
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