Leigh Pearce is an illustrator who has produced a variety of posters, record sleeves, an endless amount of characters and more as well as more dynamic works such as animations and the design of apps, working for companies like Vodafone, Virgin Media and more. As with a lot of the artists I’ve researched for this project I first found Pearce in an issue of Computer Arts, for which he supplied an “army of brightly coloured chirpy retards”, by which he means characters. I loved these characters as soon as I saw them, they’re all interesting and have character, they all slightly vary in style, but are still recognisable as Pearce’s work and they look like they could each have a story of their own. Pearce often gives his characters a back-story, such as ‘Bacon Ears’ who was featured in the CA article, he is a Vietnam vet whose ears were lost in combat, which were then replaced with streaky bacon by a short-sited surgeon. I find this level of storytelling within one character really intriguing and relative to my own work and I think that this depth in Pearce’s work makes it more valuable by giving it meaning and potential — I bet — if not Pearce himself — someone, somewhere could easily produce a short animation depicting Bacon Ear’s misfortune and other stories.
Another piece which show’s Pearce’s ability to portray narrative and relevance is the poster produced for hip-hop trio De La Soul, Pearce gives specification of and relevance to the elements in the image, linking to parts of/songs of De La Soul’s. The piece itself gives a characterised and somewhat humorous portrayal of the three men in Pearce’s naive and charming style. Like many of his others, this poster uses a very limited colour palette to aid in its use to portray certain feelings, these dark reds and maroons give the impression of a tough and hardened group, which is contrasted by Pearce’s style, not to mention the group themselves, whose lyrics are often quirky and less tough than some ex-gang-banging peers. I think the poster works well by combining these elements and I feel that most people who find this poster will have heard of De La Soul, meaning that they will probably relate the charming style to the group more than the ‘meaner’ colours.
Here‘s a link to Pearce’s blog, and here‘s his website.
I couldn’t miss this opportunity to tie in one of my favourite bands, so here’s Gorillaz with one of their latest collaborations with De La Soul:
This is the first time I’ve ever asked anything of the internet community, it feels weird. But could you please give your favourite of my designs for this Bravest Warriors t-shirt design competition a sweet 5, or all of them if you’re that kind!
Click on one of the designs and vote, thanks.
And let all of your friends know, if they’re into cartoons, or t-shirts.
Ps. Please don’t get annoyed when you see this post again every few days!
I recently visited Manchester Art Gallery and saw the work of Indian born artist Raqib Shaw who moved to London in 1998. The series I looked at called ‘Of Beast and Super-Beasts’ consists of dynamic scenes in the animal kingdom painted in acrylics and adorned with glitter and rhinestones. From a distance, this vibrancy masks the disturbing and violent activity within the piece, animals raping each other and pulling other animals limb from limb. This makes the monkeys who are sat above the rest being fanned and fed seem a lot more lustrous than the more innocent ‘Jungle Book’ community I first pictured them as (even though they turned out to be pretty deviant). Shaw does well to contrast this darker, more cynical activity with the glamorous shine of the media he’s used. Thinking about it, I feel quite naive in the fact that he could distract me with something shiny! Although it could be said that the overpowering jewel like media could be a part of the scene, displaying several of the seven deadly sins, I can identify lust, sloth, greed, gluttony and greed.
One thing that came to mind when looking at the sense of hierarchy in these pieces was George Orwell’s Animal Farm, where Napoleon and the other pigs eventually ruled the farm and had human luxuries that the other animals were prohibited from using.
Monkey King Boudoir (http://www.spearswms.com/art-and-collecting/43787/raqib-shaw-rajazzles-the-manchester-art-gallery-with-la-nuit-damour.thtml)
Doomsday At Xanadu (http://www.pacegallery.com/artists/435/raqib-shaw)
Unknown title (http://trouvaillesdujour.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/raqib-shaw-of-beasts-and-super-beasts.html)
I like work that I can look at for a while and find new things going on, Shaw’s work has that quality and I think I’d like create similar work using the characters I will create, just without the rape and bludgeoning.
Another piece that’s worth mentioning for this type of composition is The Meeting of Wellington and Blücher after the Battle of Waterloo which was finished in 1861 by Daniel Maclise. It spans 46ft wide and is housed in the Royal Gallery of the Westminster Palace, London. This piece is more of a realistic account and is important in setting a historic scene. There’s so much going on in this painting, and all of the men have sombre, worn looks on their faces. Please take a better look at it through the link below.
The Meeting of Wellington and Blücher after the Battle of Waterloo (http://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/daniel-maclise/the-meeting-of-wellington-and-blucher-after-the-battle-of-waterloo/3246)
A small element of the partially animated video I’m making which I thought deserved some more attention.
Pigeons are funny.