Dallas, Texas-born, New York-based illustrator LilKool took the simplicity of suburban neighborhoods, reduced it into an even more minimalistic aesthetic, then slapped on a palette of vibrant colors. LilKool’s suburban series sees snapshots of suburbia represented in a way we can only imagine a cartoon on LSD would see it. The pop-influenced feel of his illustrations are in fact a response to over flooding of pop culture and how it’s taking over the the minds of creatives.
Andrea Joyce Heimer (previously featured here) is a self taught painter known for her exploration of the suburban experience, drawing inspiration from the neighborhood mythos of her childhood home in 1980’s Great Falls, Montana. Heimer struggled early-on with feelings of disconnect from her family and community. Her sense of isolation continued into her teens, but by then she’d found comfort in a peculiar activity: observation. Through quietly observing the lives around her Heimer was able to piece together neighborhood tales of madness.
Part allegory part autobiography, her tremendously detailed paintings depict scenes of heartbreak, madness, and the emotional claustrophobia that stems from living as an outsider in one’s own backyard.
Jonathan Chapline is an oil painter and digital artist living in Brooklyn. Each of his scenes look as if its parts have been pixelated and rendered smooth on auto-loop, the remaining shapes melodramatically lit.
He makes art that reflects the transition between interiors and exteriors of the suburban landscape that outwardly conform to societal pressures, and which hint at the reality that exists behind those facades representing the neighborhoods of everyman. The work reveals the contradiction and tension between appearance and reality, giving the viewer an opportunity to consider what subsides beyond and between the veneer of their own life experiences.
These are the deceptively vibrant paintings of subtly unnerving suburban scenes by Hobart, Tasmania-based artist Amber Koroluk-Stephenson. Koroluk-Stephenson studied painting and photography at the Tasmanian School of Art. This is her series “Beyond the Gate”.
You really need to have grown up in the suburbs to really understand it, to write about it, to articulate it. Spike Jonze and Arcade Fire we can only assume have lived the suburban life, because they nail a feeling in this “Suburbs” video. It has the boredom down pat, just the inability to do anything of substance, but great at wasting time, being angry at that boredom, etc. That is being a kid in the suburbs. And really, most of the stuff in this video happened when we grew up in the suburbs, so there you go.