KitschGlitch

KitschGlitch

The 90’s were indeed a garish time. Instead of a little introspection, reevaluation, or a lateral move; we as a society took Herring, The Memphis stile, and the MTV of the 80’s and cranked it to 11. It’s hard to say though whether this is actually suppose to be 90’s or 80’s. The yellow, blue, purple is definitely 90’s, but the metallics put this design clearly in the 80’s metal or blank VHS camp. The deign itself is somewhat reminiscent of a Judas Priest album cover. It’d be interesting to know which decade the artist was going for.

In any case the name for this work is a bit of a misnomer. Gradients and garish colors are actually in vogue at the moment and have been for some time within the world of fine art; just ask Felipe Pantone. The shapes themselves aren’t too unusual to see either, Therefore it doesn’t seem like this is really “kitsch”. It seems like the lines cutting through the rest of the shape are suppose to supply the “glitch” of this work, but without distortion/ shifting of segments from the surrounding shapes this can’t really be called glitch either. The desire for alliteration is probably to blame here. “Ambiguous Nostalgia” might be more apt, or something about how style is cyclical or parasitic in nature maybe. Regardless it’s a fantastic abstract that would actually require a lot of patience and technical knowledge to pull off in most software.

Design by: Roberlan
Price:  $19.90 @ Redbubble
Colors: White, Black, Grey, Blue, Light Blue, Maroon, Purple

Lifeful Skull

Lifeful Skull

All there’s really to say is that it’s well done and kinda amazing. It could hint at a larger worker, an update for the memento mori. As it stands it’s very- of its time with the geometry framing a cutout in overlapping gradients. The one piece of the work that is unusual is the color grading of the skull; it works well, but the resulting texture is rougher than you would ever see on a commercially done work of art. The roughness of the effect gives it a retro/ dada era collage feel; though the color pallet is very clearly late teens early 2020’s. The image is compelling in that it feels simultaneously flat and 3-dimensional. The effect is somewhat like that of cel shading, but breaks the effect in too many areas to seem passable in that way. The image sort of works as an optical illusion if one looks at it long enough. Realistically though this image isn’t about anything but not everything needs to be.

Design by: Ali Gulec
Price:  $19.07@ Redbubble
Colors: White, Grey, Black

Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole

Rabbits as a symbol haven’t really gotten their due in recent years. Owls had their time in the mid oughts, lions and wolves seem to be in ascendance, but it’s been a long time since “Watership Down” and Peter Rabbit were made or were culturally relevant. In spite of the fact that the color pallet is of the moment, this design seems to be like a bit of a throwback to the times in which the topic of animal testing got the same, if not more coverage than that of global warming. Everything is plastics and carbon now. It’s weird to age and wonder how, why, and when societal priorities shifted.

The image is interesting in that the colors seem Aposematic (warning colors); There’s something sickly and yet violent about the combination. The pink is vibrant and lively, as if expressing joy in the clinical and dangerous nature that this particular hue of green would seem to represent. Coupled with the sharp edges of the geometry, the running zoetropic progression of the rabbits, there’s something sinister about this design that makes it interesting.

Design by: Bearded Lady
Price:  $22.38 @ Redbubble
Colors: Black, Dark Grey, Blue, Brown, Purple,

Jung at Heart

Jung at Heart

Generally when a work is purported to be deep you can assume whatever’s said is somewhat disingenuous in that it is more likely to be justification for the asking price rather than an essential part of the composition. Maybe it worked differently in the past; when supplies were expensive and output was low, when you had to buy and mix you own pigments and painstakingly reach for realism, maybe then artists took their time and thought thematically as well as compositionally.

Artist today, and probably in the past, as a group and in general don’t sit down think of a theme or message and work from there; because it’s not a helpful place to start. What artist generally do is I want to paint ‘X’, and in some cases, I want to say ‘y’, but the form, follows function (x follows y). These stories artists make up about their work is for the buyer/ the consumer. While a painter needs to paint for the audience, if they’re to have a unique voice, then they will need to predominantly paint for themself.

All of this is to say that while Jung is in the title seems like an easy shortcut to give this work substance that it doesn’t need. The image works well. It’s interesting because of the use of color, texture, and geometry. The artist almost certainly didn’t compose this with Jungian symbols in mind and it would be shocking if they were well versed in Jungian psychology at all. It’s ill advised to take the shortcut of association to provide a piece meaning. At the same time this type of posturing pervades the art world and makes its participants all the more insufferable. The image works, it’s strong as a design and within the context of apparel. It’s beneath the work to reference Jung. The image doesn’t need it.

Design by: OrdinaryFox
Price:  $20.00 @ Threadless
Colors: Grey, Dark Grey

Shapes & Nightmares

Shapes & Nightmares

Art criticism, art interpretation invariable looks for meaning in order to justify its own existence, but sometimes meaning follows creation, and sometimes meaning is absent altogether until someone asks for it.

Artists work in form, by intuition, and under a vague framework; there are any number of ways within modern art to arrive at a finished piece. As a viewer, or a critic, there is this idea that a narrative or principle underlies every work of art. While this is possible, were one to ask an artist whether a concept, led to a series of motifs, and finally a finished piece of work, few artists would want or be able to claim the linear and hierarchical process of thought necessary to produce such a work. It’s possible to render a narrative within this image. Is it likely that the artist had a narrative, a message in mind while creating this work? Not at all. The majority of art is about visual ideas, inspiration i.e. what feels “right” to the artist, and not about overarching themes.

Aesthetically this image works well in terms of its use of color/ value, the balance of the shapes, its use of detail and obfuscation. It’s possible that the artist had something deep in mind in creating this piece, but only those who aren’t and haven’t ever actively engaged in making art as a compulsion would bet that form followed function.

Design by: OrdinaryFox
Price:  $24.00 @ Threadless
Colors: Grey/ “heather White”