The Art of Valentin Popov
“Irony is a disciplinarian feared only by those who do not know it, but cherished by those who do,” the 19th century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once famously wrote. Unlike humor, which opens the mind with hilarity and kindness, irony seeks a deeper, less comfortable understanding. Derived from the ancient Greek word eirōneía, or “feigned ignorance,” it represents a mockery, a sophisticated challenge and subversion of what is ostensibly expressed. At once comical and bitter, sharp-witted and swift, irony rarely works to reassure the viewer, propelling us instead toward us the realization of a darker, hidden truth.