I’ve got a silly little thing to share with you all. A couple of weeks ago I was challenged by some of my students to draw all of the original 151 Pokémon. I upped the stakes by committing to drawing them all in a two hour period. I managed in in 1 hour 40 minutes. And yes, they were done in order.
Prints of the poster (if you are into that sort of thing) are available here, at my Society6.
Very distinctive and divergent Sonic character redesigns by Nerfuffle.
LOVE THESE ENOUGH TO PUT HERE TOO
If Sega had balls
This is literally the coolest thing I’ve ever seen
just draws a hundred pictures of ninja kids lovin on each other after the war’s over
A much more accurate “now” image for direct comparison would be a photograph. Abstract art came about as a direct result of the invention of photography, as paintings no longer need to be representative, as photographs are inherently better at that task. Accurately representative paintings were just the photography of the pre-photography era. Portraits of nobility have been replaced by Sears Portrait Studio. Self portraits have been replaced by Instagram selfies. Paintings of historical events have been replaced by photojournalism. Photography is the democratization of art and abstract paintings and sculpture are the most evolved form of art possible. These are not things to complain about.
YES YES IT IS okay i have a whole lot of feelings about abstract and non-representational art
because yeah, once photography became more common and widely available, people who painted started to question what they painted for. They started to wonder what made something art, what distinguished a painting from a photograph - if photographs could depict “objective” reality (insofar as such a thing even exists), then maybe the strength of painting lay in what photography, in that day and age, couldn’t capture, like feelings or impressions or the tricks the eye plays when seeing an object.
and so they asked, well, why does this portrait feel so comfortable and warm and this one feel threatening and stiff? what elements of the picture suggest that? is it the lighting? the way people are posed? can you play up those elements, exaggerate them, make the figures express the feeling instead of the other way around? what would happen if you did?
and for that matter, people continued to ask, why do we find a certain change of lighting comforting? why do we respond to someone wearing a red shirt or a blue dress differently to someone wearing a white one? what is it about red? or black? or green? why does the shape that people are standing in, the way the figures are placed in a frame, change how we feel about it?
art in a way started to become about psychology - it became about thinking and about why we think and how. because photographs (again, at the time) weren’t engaging with that nearly as much, art started to move towards a “why” of photographs. why that pose? why that color?
that’s when you start to get art like the one under “art now”, right, because look at it. REALLY LOOK, okay, don’t just shrug and walk away because “anyone could do it”. look at that exact shade of orange. do you ever see just a big swath of one color in nature? no, you see hints of it. where have you seen it? what does it remind you of? for that matter, what about the little stripes on it? does that make you feel like there’s depth to the painting - something inside it? why? after all, the painting is a flat plane*, so if you do get a sense of depth from it that’s your brain interpreting signals its familiar with. isn’t that incredible, that all it takes is a few little lines on a single color? isn’t it strange how one person will see depth and another won’t?
*and for that matter it ISN’T a flat plane, there are variations in the height of the paint on the canvas and how much it’s built up, and it protrudes slightly from the wall instead of being recessed into it - does that do anything to the sensation of depth? while we’re on that note, do you ever look at a representational painting and think about how you, the viewer, are looking into it and see it as having space and depth when it really doesn’t - only it does, but not the same space and depth as is represented in the picture?
and that’s without even getting into larger cultural shifts like the World Wars - and it’s hard to overestimate the effect that WWI and WWII had on even the “mainstream” art world - and the greater voice of underrepresented and oppressed groups like women, POC, and LGBT artists and the increasing technological sophistication of photography and the advent of video and widely-available audio recording and the increasing use of galleries to display art rather than private residences and it is still art, okay, representative art is art too but that doesn’t mean this isn’t it’s just focusing on something different and if you dismiss non-representational art as lazy or a con i will sit your ass down in the nearest chair and yell at you about marcel duchamp for an hour
I have a lot of feelings about this, so I’m gonna just spew them everywhere.
Most critically! The red piece isn’t art now. It’s art 60 years ago — 1950, they great heyday of abstract expressionism in the USA! All that abstract shit you hate, all that stuff that’s just splatters and giant dots? 1950-1960. The United States. A small, elitist movement shaped by maybe a dozen artists and two or three very influential critics. In a decade abstract expressionism had pretty much said all there was to say about the action of painting and the canvas as an object rather than a representation, and it got stuck in the museum for people to be bewildered at.
The Rembrandt piece above it? Also a snapshot of a very particular time and place. Our view of art 400 years ago is blinkered by what we’ve bothered to preserve and focus on. When people think “old-timey art” they think of bright white marble statues with no limbs and Da Vinci and Dutch still life. Which is such a tiny fraction of things that have happened in art history, you know? That’s like, three things! Most of them done for rich dudes in Western Europe!
I call such bullshit on someone trying to knock down all of contemporary art by comparing something made for the cultural elite in 1650 to something made for the cultural elite in 1950.
Art is huge, poorly defined, and it has always been that way, has always had elements that are democratic and has always had a thick vein of nasty elitism. The carvings on the doors into Notre Dame tell the stories of the saints so that everyone could understand them, whether they had access to books or not. Comic books and photorealism and murals in urban areas and fashion spreads — all this stuff is made to wow everyone, independent of how much time they’ve spent studying the deep philosophical circle-jerk of art criticism.
I love art criticism, I love Frank Stella and Ad Reinhardt and Eva Hesse, and I am still incandescently furious when people try to reduce the evolution of art to simply justifying or condemning their work. Because that means we’ve fallen head-first into the trap of omission and framing that keeps art defined as only for the museum-attending. There’s museum art — cerebral and obtuse and annoying and demanding of effort and education and money to appreciate — and then there’s literally a whole world of more art. It is an appalling disservice to all the other artists making it out there (corporate designers and media hubs and scrappy little collectives and crafters and professional illustrators) to sweep them under the rug in favor of arguing about museum art as if it is the most important art, or, worse, the only art.
Don’t like Barnett Newman? Fuck Barnett Newman. Fuck his arrogance and his inaccessibility and his ego and his concept of the primitive.
But fuck you if you call him “Art now” while you do it. Don’t make one man the measuring stick for a century of modern creative works. That’s a bullshit premise and you know it.
LOWERCASE LETTERS ARE FOR THE LOWER CLASS
and here we have a capitalist
Did you just.
let us all take a moment to appreciate that all of human history and human language and the universe itself aligned to make this joke possible
An Incomplete List of Noteable People I’ve Delivered Pizzas To
It’s coming up on a year now since I got my current job as a pizza delivery girl, and I thought this would be a good time to delve into the little ever-expanding “WTFPIZZA” note I keep on my cell that helps me remember some of my more, uh - interesting deliveries.
So without further ado and in no particular order, here’s some pizza customers who left a lasting impression on me thus far:
- A bearded man who answered the door and periodically spat blood into a crusted Harley-Davidson coffee mug while counting out his cash.
- A woman who slipped me a business card (in lieu of tip) for a laser tattoo removal clinic, explaining “In case you want to bring your mutilated skin back to how God intended it to be.”
- At least three Batmans so far, but only one who did the voice.
- An elderly Spanish woman who meekly presented me with a (rather classy) pearl-handled .32 snub nosed revolver and asked if I knew how to load it (I do) and also, if I could load it for her (I didn’t).
- A group of EMT’s hanging out in the back of an ambulance at a recently extinguished (but still smouldering) house fire.
- A man with a thick Alabama accent who admonished me for standing in front of his mailbox while I waited for him to answer the door. He then explained how this was a federal offense because I was “obstructing the mail system” and demanded my social security number so he could “report me to the proper authorities”.
- A group of young teenage girls (like 14-16) who begged me to buy a case of Bud Light (ew why) and bring it back to them.
- A hotel room full of badass middle-aged women all dressed as Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter films, who were also completely wasted on Jello shots. They kept encouraging me to stay and party with them.
- A 20-something dude who answered the door with an unsheathed katana dangling through a belt loop on his jeans.
- Multiple instances of people asking if I would sell them pot. (bitch get your own dealer sheesh)
- A guy who slipped a twenty directly into my shirt because I apparently was the “spitting image” of his deceased daughter.
- A woman who admonished me for driving a Mazda, and wrote “get a real car” in the tip portion of my credit receipt.
- A very drunk dude who gave me his iPhone and had me take a bunch of Myspace-esque pictures of the both of us. He did the duck lips thing in every shot.
- Multiple prank deliveries (joke’s on you motherfucker, I get paid for the gas AND I eat the pizzas you ordered)
- An elderly man who wrote “FUCK OFF” as his signature on a credit receipt.
- A thirty-something guy who begged to get his order for free because he “works so hard”. He visibly teared up and sniffled when I told him I couldn’t do anything.
- A dudebro wearing a bath robe and socks + sandals (indoors) who straight up wordlessly yanked the pizzas out of my hands without paying and shut the door. Multiple knockings were of no avail.
- A woman who angrily demanded to see my ID because she refused to believe my claims that I’m female. She proceeded to snatch my driver’s license out of my hand, run back into her house and show it to her children while pointing back at me.
- A kid no older than 14 who desperately tried to convince me to play WoW on the free custom server he was playing on. (But it has double XP!)
- A guy who spent the entire time I was there digging a (impressively large) booger out of his nose. He proceeded to smear it on, thankfully, HIS copy of the receipt.
- An on-duty cop who flagged me down by intercepting me on the road before I got to the police station and pulling me over to get his pizza.
- A drill instructor looking-guy who filled out his entire credit card receipt, specifically wrote “0.00” in the tip portion, then proceeded to write out a check for seventy-eight cents and handed it to me. It said “pizza tip” in the “For” section.
- A furious lady who yelled at me for a solid five minutes (I kept track) all about how long it took for her delivery to get to her. She then tipped me an extra ten bucks on a six dollar order. I dunno.
- An incredibly stoned teenager trying and failing to look sober. When I complimented his Adventure Time wallet (which was super cute) and asked where he got it, he immediately looked terrified, sat down on the floor and muttered “I… I don’t know….”
- Obligatory naked man with unimpressive penis
- A chick at a house party who answered the door and immediately turned to vomit into her mailbox.
- A surly Korean mom with an amazing shoulder tattoo of a baby giving birth to a full-grown woman.
- A man who lived in one of those mini-mansions inside a gated community, who sported a seemingly massive collection of what appeared to be solid glass spheres of varying size and color. I only got a quick glance in his house but there had to be hundreds of them in display racks, tables, shelves - everywhere.
- A group of 20-something guys who challenged me to sing the original Pokemon theme song, which I did. And perfectly, I may add.
- A completely iced-out musclebound gangster kid who was blaring Regina Spektor so loud and with so much bass I actually couldn’t hear anything he was saying.
- An elderly guy who deadpan asked me if I knew anyone who could score him hollowpoint bullets.
- An adorable older lesbian couple who were mortified that they didn’t have any extra money for a tip, so they gave me a big sack of pistachios instead. It took me three weeks to finish the bag.