John Malta

j malta flooding

Okay Master Debators – we have a hot debate for you to weigh in on.  We received a submission from John Malta.  We think his work is really cool… but we can’t help but notice a similarity to Matt Leines.  This illustration style seems to be popular nowadays.  Is it just the current style or is John influenced by Leines?  You can see some comparisons after the jump.  We have no intention to bash John’s work, but we are interested to hear your opinions on the matter.  What do you think?

John Malta:j malta roasting j malta ngiht2

j malta sketchbook Matt Leines:matt leines men
John Malta:

j malta cat Matt Leines:

Matt Leines-Native Riding Tiger (cut-out)-web

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  • Loring

    Obviously the question you’ve asked raises the specter of originality, and I think the we tend to automatically make the leap between originality and validity. At least I find myself doing this. Which is unfortunate because the obsession with originality falls out of a view of the artist that willfully ignores large parts of what it really is to be a human being. We are not the boy in the bubble. We don’t create in a void even if we pretend to. We are social at our cores, and by adulthood we think largely in terms of our given (shared) language. We choose from a vocabulary that is meaningful only through repetition and universality. Certainly these artists’ works use some of the same vocabulary, and there are striking similarities. But this is only a problem if you look at the artist as a person who should be self sufficient to the exclusion of all others. In this world, however, artists are people too, belong to communities, and lead lives that are only meaningful in terms of their relationships with others. I think art is more interesting as form of dialogue than as the ethereal self obsession of a single ego. But I guess that’s just me…

  • Wow. Best comment ever. Well put!

  • Damn. Loring put a ribbon on that shit. I like to think of myself as a fairly elegant dude of parlance, but I couldn’t ever have put it as well as Loring.

    I also think there are enough differences in terms of content and mark making to distinguish the two artists from one another. And this style of drawing is all over flickr, with hordes of insanely good drawings done in similar styles.

  • Amir

    You guys are raising great points! Lets keep the dialogue going. Again our aim isn’t to just single out John. We all are influenced by others. Hell I definitely was influenced by other magazines when I decided to start B/D. I think the real question is how much to borrow and what do you gain/lose by borrowing.

  • Lassie

    Looks like a mix of Neckface and Matt Leines to me, nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t mean the result is something very interesting, but I guess you have to start somewhere.