San Francisco based artist, Michelle Guintu plays with a little of everything. From sewing cigarettes together to McDonalds-inspired paper mache dolls, to her most recent tempera paintings of hip hop artists and other nostalgic characters from her youth, Guintu’s work is all tied together by its reference to her teenage years. Guintu’s work was once described as “kindercore”: part kindergarten part hardcore. Her work embraces the past with light-hearted reverence.
Calling on our past with characters in The Wonder Years, Roseanne and TLC, Michelle plays to our hearts and then paints them in bold strokes of neon pink. Her minimalist line work exposing the familiar contours of pop culture celebrities is definitely something to applaud, alongside her brilliantly saturated palette.
London-based illustrator Paul Layzell is a Graduate of the University of Brighton’s Illustration BA/Hons course in 2011. He is part of the duo Layzell Bros with his brother Matt. They are directors, animators, illustrators, music makers and in general people that enjoy visualizing the thoughts that reside inside the mind. They have been working together since they were kids so they’ve had some practice. Matt had a staunch and strictly religious education in animation, and Paul a free-flowing one in illustration, but they work in both fields, merging their respective talents together.
Paul’s inspiration for his work consists of stuff he grew up with, 90s stuff, sports stuff, skateboarding, cartoons and Keith Haring. Like a stereotypical teenager he used to skateboard, play basketball.
Various 90′s devices charmingly rendered in isometric views by Guillaume Kurkdjian, who also produces a Tumblr of weekly animated GIFs. Though they’re focused on very different subject matter, are executed in an entirely different medium, and are animated instead of static, their warm color palettes and understated presentation is just perfect.
How many characters can one man play? Here’s a cool throwback to the 90s for nostalgic TV Junkies and sitcom fans of Sheneneh Jenkins, Roscoe, Otis, Dragonfly Jones and more. Available in two colorways, in store and online at upperplayground.com.
“1994 was a golden year. It was the year I moved to San Francisco to skateboard and attend The SF Art Institute. It was also a golden year for Hip Hop. Nas’s “Illmatic”, Gang Starr’s “Hard To Earn”, Notorious B.I.G. “Ready To Die”, Beastie Boys “Ill Communication”, Method Man “Tical”, Jeru The Damaja’s “The Sun Rises In the East”, Scarface, Digable Planets, Saafir, Casual, and many other amazing albums. The illustrations for these tee shirts were inspired by celebrating the 20th anniversary of these amazing records, and the affect they had on me then, and now.” – Jeremy Fish
You probably know how we feel about the Golden Girls. Sometimes to get ourselves going in the morning we sing “Thank you for being a friend” to ourselves in the bathroom mirror. It’s pretty cute to see the old gang get together and act out the classic. A. Silverstone film “Clueless”.