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Design Illustration

Contemporary Films Are Reimagined as Vintage Book Covers by Illustrator Matt Stevens

June 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Matt Stevens, shared with permission

Generally, the adaptation pipeline begins with books and ends in film, but Charlotte-based designer and illustrator Matt Stevens has turned that process around. For an ongoing project that’s simply titled Good Movies as Old Books, Stevens reimagines contemporary movies as vintage paperbacks and cloth-bound texts, covering Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, Jordan Peele’s Us, and Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, one of the illustrator’s favorite editions. “A movie I love, the idea came quickly and easily, and it really captures something about the film and the jazz-era style,” he says.

The project has culminated in a series of prints and a forthcoming book, which Stevens recently launched as part of a Kickstarter campaign. “From my ever-growing and changing master list, once I hit 100 entries, I will have a list of about 40 that I wasn’t able to include,” he says. “Maybe a volume 2?” Keep up with all of Stevens’s new releases on Instagram. (via Plain Magazine)

 

 

 

 



Illustration

Pop Culture Icons Undergo Taxonomic Studies in These Vintage-Style Illustrations

May 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Audrey II Study.” All images © Chet Phillips

How would you biologically classify a hippogriff? Austin-based illustrator Chet Phillips is offering his own taxonomic studies for some of pop culture’s most iconic characters as part of his Unnatural History series. Through vintage-style illustrations, the artist renders a flying monkey from The Wizard of Oz, Krampus, and The Lion King‘s animated duo Timon and Pumba complete with their identifying information.

You can browse the entire Unnatural History collection and pick up your own print on Etsy. Phillips also shares much of his work that’s based in contemporary culture on Behance and Instagram.  (via Laughing Squid)

 

Left: “Hippogriff Study.” Right: “Alien Study”

“Flying Monkey Study”

Left: “Skull Island King Study.” Right: “Krampus Study”

“Killer Rabit Study”

“Warthog and Meerkat Study”

 

 



Animation

Animated Characters Perform Mundane Tasks in Stop-Motion Shorts by Stefano Colferai

March 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

Stefano Colferai’s animated characters may be made of plasticine, but they certainly understand the very human struggles that come along with sending a text while walking, stepping outside on a hot day, and managing a freelance life. The Milan-based animator sculpts miniature scenes for his figures—who sometimes bear a likeness to Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction or performance artist Marina Abramović—in his wildly relatable stop-motion shorts that expertly reveal his characters’ personalities. For more of Colferai’s humorous, and even life-affirming, projects, follow him on Instagram and Behance. (via Tina Roth Eisenberg)

 

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Art

Nevermore Park Manifests the Fictional Universe of Hebru Brantley’s Flyboy and Lil Mama

March 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Amy Lombard, shared with permission

Packed within a 6,000-square-foot space on Chicago’s south side is a fictional universe teeming with pinned up newspaper clippings, towers of retro electronics, and tons of vintage advertising from McDonald’s to Vienna Hot Dogs. It’s the world of Hebru Brantley’s iconic characters, Lil Mama and Flyboy, whose enlarged head rests on the floor in one room of the immersive installation, titled Nevermore Park. Moving through the pathways lined with plastic toys and paint-spattered pallets, visitors pass a downed spaceship and a brick wall of street art, elements that structure Brantley’s narrative for the surreal environment.

The Los Angeles-based artist cites the tales of the superheroes and comic books he engaged with during his childhood living in Chicago as directly impacting his current projects. “I’m in love with creating and I have so many stories I want to tell,” he tells Colossal. “I want my work to create a narrative that hasn’t been told before, in ways others haven’t seen expressed. I’m working to create the things I wished existed.”

Although Brantley created many of the objects specifically for Nevermore Park, he also amassed thousands of pieces of real ephemera that create a strong undercurrent of Chicago’s history as expressed through pop culture, toys, magazines, and found objects. The periodicals lining the newsstand, for example, belonged to his grandmother. “She had saved a number of them and it created a unique opportunity for me to incorporate these real historical artifacts into my body of work for visitors to experience. Everything weaves together with the goal of staying authentic to the stories I wanted to tell,” he says.

Nevermore Park, though, is intended “to be a total sensory experience,” inspiring Brantley to collaborate with WILLS on the audio component, offering a soundtrack that he says visitors always ask about. “Bringing people into a space they wouldn’t normally occupy with sounds that are familiar, amplify the story and culture even more,” he writes. “Sight is an important aspect of the experience but so is the sound piped into each section.”

If you’re in Chicago, there are tickets available to visit Nevermore Park through May 3. Otherwise, head to Instagram to keep up with Brantley and see what’s next for Flyboy, Lil Mama, and Nevermore Park.

 

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Art

Laughable High-jinks of Cartoon Rivals Tom and Jerry Are Recreated Perfectly in Sculptures by Taku Inoue

December 31, 2019

Grace Ebert

Japanese artist Taku Inoue isn’t letting anyone forget the most outlandish moments of Tom and Jerry’s notorious cartoon feud. Through his sculptures showing Tom Cat flattened from sliding underneath a door and Jerry Mouse molded into the shape of a cheese slice, the artist recreates the iconic animated pair’s most painful and hilarious accidents. In the American cartoon series that premiered in 1940, Tom most often finds himself in unfortunate mishaps as he tries and regularly fails to capture Jerry. Many of Inoue’s pieces center the show’s slapstick humor, featuring Tom’s contorted body as he’s stuffed into a water glass or duplicated to resemble bowling pins. Follow all of the artists’s comical sculptures depicting the forever rivals on Twitter and Instagram. (via deMilked)

 

 



Art

Insect Illustrations Inspired by Looney Tunes Characters and Horror Movie Icons

June 22, 2019

Andrew LaSane

UK-based illustrator Richard Wilkinson (previously) imagines new insect species inspired by familiar faces from popular culture. Two of his more recent series cover both ends of a fantastical spectrum, with bugs designed after horror movie villains and children’s cartoon characters.

For his horror icons Family: Timorpersonae collection, Wilkinson pays homage to classic slashers and newer terrors including Jason Voorhees, Pennywise the Clown, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the demon Valak. For each insect’s zoological nomenclature, Wilkinson creates a Latin phrase that serves as a description of the character or their respective film. For example, his Freddy Krueger “A Nightmare on Elm Street” piece is titled Insomnium ulmusvicus: insomnium from the Latin insomnis (sleep), ulmus (street), and vicus (elm).

For his Family: Insanusmelodiae series, Wilkinson incorporated the faces of iconic Looney Tunes characters into the bodies of beetles and bugs who inherited unfortunate but funny traits from their cartoon counterparts. “Their distinctive characteristics include loud and often odd vocalizations and the very distinctive fast and erratic movements,” the artist wrote in a statement. He added that the “most peculiar aspect of the Insanusmelodiae’s behaviour is their clumsiness. They often meet their end under a falling stone or twig, or after falling from a long drop. Their wings, also vestigial, can produce enough uplift to keep them in the air for a moment or two before they fall.”

To see more of Wilkinson’s buggy mashups, fly on over to his Instagram page.