With his collection of delightful three-dimensional GIFs, the illustrator Dain Fagerholm creates whimsical universes that are both wondrous and terrifying. Filled with monsters reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s “wild things,” the precious animations exist in a space caught between childhood nightmares and dreams. The artist draws each by hand, and the illusion of three-dimensionally of the work is expressed by a fast-paced alternating between a few images drawn from similar but differing perspectives.
Fagerholm’s lovely work is infused with a playful sense of anxiety; his characters, both human and otherwise, curl on the ground of tightly enclosed spaces like affrighted children. Wide-eyed and appearing to move manically back and forth, they hold their knees close to their chest. In these strange, surreal narratives, we are invited to feel the claustrophobia of a time out, recalling the lonesomeness and isolation of being bound to our rooms. One girl seems to be trapped within a TV screen, seemingly sucked into a blue, static-filled haze by her own imagination, peering curiously and excitedly outward.
These sweet, solitary creatures play and daydream in a dark state of nighttime unease. A seven-headed dragon evokes images of the beast from the biblical text Revelations, recalling (in an unexpectedly adorable way) frightful notions of eternity and punishment. As if pulled from films like The Shining or Poltergeist, Fagerholm’s characters transcend the real world, reaching instead for a chaotic, nervous aesthetic. With eyes dazed like hypnotic spirals, these little monsters seem to wait impatiently for sunrise and open air, for someone to keep them company. (via Demilked)
“Your childhoods belong to me now,” says the concept artist Dan LuVisi of his terrifying portraits of beloved cartoon characters turned grotesque and murderous. LuVisi’s chilling series, titled Popped Culture, holds a scathing mirror to Hollywood ethics, to the exploitation that goes on behind the scenes of even the most innocent movie productions. Accompanying each of his images on his blog, the artist, who has a background in comic books and has illustrated for DC’s Batman and Superman, includes short stories outlining Tigger and Goofy’s tragic path to corruption.
LuVisi’s spare text reads quite like a noir mystery novel, filled with darkened, moody diners and mugs of bitter coffee. The characters that we associate with our own youths age, hardened by years out of the limelight. The residents of Sesame Street are seemingly evicted, cast out into a generic urban cityscape simply called “THE STREET.” Seduced by industry executives, Kermit takes a role in a brutal adult film. Those who refuse to compromise themselves for the sake of the industry are defeated, as is the case with poor, piteous Gonzo.
The Disney cartoons fare worst of all, transformed from lovable animals into nightmarish ghouls. Mickey Mouse’s gaunt body grows saggy with age, his small, round ears torn and his slimy tongue dripping hungry drool. Donald Duck’s beak opens to reveal rows of teeth, emerging like claws and cruelly lining a mass of tissue; a tiny drop of blood stains his collar. In these disturbing images, we find both humor and pain, forced to reconcile our nostalgic hopes with the realities of Hollywood corruption. (via Demilked, Huff Post, and Elite Daily)
Stockholm, Sweden based artist Joakim Ojanen works in mediums as diverse as sculpture and zines. His paintings, however, particularly standout. Familiar snippets of cartoon characters, body parts, and shapes congeal as a hallucinatory mass. Normally lighthearted characters appear to be in a paranoid panic or a manic giddiness. Eyeballs peek from oddly placed holes or simply roll on the ground. Ojanen’s portraits don’t seem to depict monsters as much as characters mutated by abstraction.
Finnish illustrator Konsta Ojala‘s new drawings are large and frightening. Seriously, nearly measuring at five feet on each side, Ojala works the aesthetic of disturbed (and perhaps drug induced) doodles expanded to obsessive sizes. His drawings often feature familiar cartoon characters taken to their logical misanthropic conclusion. From a syringe-clutching Mickey Mouse to a bleary-eyed and violent Bart Simpson the characters seem to be reappearing after spending a few years on the streets. Rendered in harsh black and white and imposing sizes, the drawings are unsettling while still strangely nostalgic.
Irena Zablotska is a Ukrainian artistborrows inspiration from Eastern European folk art and super saturated cartoons to make drawings that are mythic, cute, and psychedelic. Like Stacey Rozich, she makes creatures that are combinations of animals, people, plants, and patterns. Her world is one where life hasn’t splintered into different forms but exists in one animistic force, or maybe it’s a world where we’ve evolved to such a degree that we can collage lifeforms onto one another to make new inter-special selves. As graphic as they are colorful, they’re a real visual treat.
Illustrator and comics artist Jesse Lonergan is drawing a “Dancer a Day”. Every day, he draws an icon from movies, music, cartoons, pop culture, etc. in a “dancing pose”. He posts the quick sketches to his “Dancer a Day” blog. Just a really fun, loose project. Who doesn’t dig the image of a groovy Hannibal Lecter or a b-boy Gonzo? What about a super fab “The Dude”, or Godzilla and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man cutting a rug on top of a metropolis? Some more selections after the jump and head over to the page itself, where Lonergan’s already amassed a pretty large collection of dancers. (via)
Andy Rementer is a designer by day and aspiring cartoonist by night. This Philadelphia based artist is the creator of Techno Tuesday, a clever comic about technology and the modern world. He has also done animations for the 2010 Virgin London Marathon that you can check out after the cut.
Marcello Velho’s work kind of reminds me of old school Nickelodeon cartoons. Think Rocko’s Modern Life or Ren & Stimpy. Except freakier. Like what was going through this guy’s head when he decided his characters should look like they’re made out of fuzzy ground beef? Genius. Also: after the cut is the picture that every mother shows her daughter to get them to practice abstinence.