The internet is currently swarming with stories, tributes, and memorials to the late, great Robin Williams who passed 3 days ago. Some people may not know that in addition to being an actor, comedian, activist, and improv performer, Williams was also an unabashed lover of video games, comic books, and graphic novels, and that this loss resonates throughout these communities as well. Yesterday, Nick Gazin over at Vice posted crowd-sourced illustrations that pay tribute to the performer, his characters, and his life. (via vice)
Life is an inextricable combination of beauty and awfulness, good and evil, and Japanese artist Daisuke Ichiba captures these dichotomies in his highly detailed, densely populated drawings. Drawing is just one of the media that Ichiba has mastered — he is also a painter, filmmaker, and photographer. No matter the form, though, his content grapples with the reality of life and its grotesqueries.
“Choosing to create work that is only beautiful feels artificial. Thus I paint both. You cannot sever the two. The expression that results is a natural chaos. In my work I project chaos, anarchy, anxiety, the grotesque, the absurd, and the irrational. By doing so I attain harmony. This is my art. Put simply, I paint humanity (the spirit).”
At first glance it’s possible to miss the disturbing elements of Ichiba’s work. The Indian ink compositions are dense and unusual for Japanese art, which tends toward clean lines and minimalism, although they do include Japanese iconography such as the schoolgirl and cherry blossoms. Influenced by his early admiration of comic book art and manga as well as the loss of his mother at age 8, his works fuse vile, often many-eyed, monsters into domestic scenes. Figures are missing features—an eye here, a mouth there—and the occasional introduction of color feels threatening, reminiscent of spreading blood.
He meditates on sexuality and death and the intangible cord that ties them together. Ichiba’s haunting tableaus are a type of contemporary shunga (Edo-period erotic scrolls), in which beauty navigates chaos with one eye closed. (Source)
The impassivity of the deformed figures is striking in the work. Both human and monster accept their fates. The faceless children and severed heads represent the darkness in all of us, ubiquitous and unquestioned.
Joan Cornellà’s comic designs are clean and simple but pack a raunchy and provocative punch. His illustrations are light-hearted yet darkly humorous, relying more strongly on visual clues and gags as opposed to textual elements to indicate a simple narrative. Out of a simple bright color palette, Cornellà creates strange and uncomfortable images that can be weirdly funny and a bit gruesome. You can follow him on Facebook, where he updates frequently and has already amassed over 300,000 fans. Cornellà currently lives in Barcelona.
Jesse McManus is pure speed. His skills are frightening. His beautiful line work captures demented children, gremlins, goblins, cats, and very often knives, or just pointy tools in general, with an incredibly demented precision. Listen to his interview on Inkstuds, read some comics, tumble alongside him, and/or tweet at him.
Nice silkscreen work from California-based illustrator and comics artist Kelsey Short. I dig the muted palette full of green, black, and blue. It perfectly matches her washed out, moody style. A lot of Short’s work is like those rainy days where you’re not bummed that you can’t go outside because the quiet sound of the rain just matches your mood for some reason. Hit the tumblr over here for a little insight into Short’s process (artistic and otherwise), and grab yourself a copy of her zine, “Grid” and some prints at her Etsy shop.
Typographical force of nature and NYC-based graff artist Andrea von Bujdoss (Queen Andrea) just closed a show at Erik Foss’ Fuse Gallery. Here are some images of the work in the show, Typograph. The Queen is one of the cleanest out there for this type of thing. And the show was packed to the gills with references to super heroes and comics, 8-bit tribal patterns, and lazer-quality lines from the artist. Von Bujdoss is also a fairly prolific designer/illustrator, pulling down some large clients. Check it after the jump.
Brazilian illustrator and comics author Pedro Franz fills his work to the brim with color, characters, and textual elements. And it’s all happening at once. Before you can take in a single expression or brush stroke, you are swallowed whole. I don’t mind. But when you do recover from the original onslaught of energy, a unique style of narrative is revealed. More images of Franz’s work after the jump, and you can check out his comic, Promises of Love to Strangers While Waiting for the End of the World, right here.