Pictoplasma NYC
September 2, 2008 5:43 PM   Subscribe

Pictoplasma, first mentioned here five years ago, has been busy. The Bunny Mandala is " the eternal essence of rabbit", the Character Ride (small mov) defies any quick description and the Colour Me Pictoplasma exhibition toured the world. All of which is coming to a well-rendered head in New York City on Thursday-Saturday this week.
posted by cloudscratcher (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is this the wrong place to say "OMG BUNNIES!!!" ?
posted by wendell at 5:56 PM on September 2, 2008

There is no wrong place to say that.

Also: me wanty!
posted by Ritchie at 7:11 PM on September 2, 2008

I thought it was cool, especially the mandala thingie. Thanks for that.
posted by an egg at 7:38 PM on September 2, 2008

What a surprise, that is an amazingly cool mandala.

What interested me more was the phenomenon of the minimalist cartoon images that have been in cultural fashion in both the West and East for some years now. Like the ones depicted by the artists listed in the Pictoplasma link. The Simpsons seem to have been the first in my awareness of this. Then South Park. Then those bizarre super heroes with no speaking mouths, Power Rangers. Then TeleTubbies. But, wait a sec, maybe it started with Pong, then Pac Man, Space Invaders and Mario Brothers?

And then Etsy has all these cute widdle, fuzzily wuzzily minimalist monsters, knitted or fleecy mini cyclopses and morbid amoebas. This is so strange to me. Where did all this come from?

Whatever it was, it seems odd to go visually backwards from realism and complexity to minimalist and symbolic. But maybe symbols are more potent somehow? Post modernist?

On the Pictoplasma site it says:

Our visual culture is being taken hostage by a new wave of characters, abstract and reduced to minimal distinguishing graphic features. In the process of a truly explosive movement, they invade digital media, animation, advertising, art, fashion and street art. They playfully quote and remix such diverse phenomena as pop culture, tribal and folklore, brand logos and comics without restricting themselves to any single one of these genres. In such a way, characters speak to observers at an emotional level as well as crossing cultural boundaries.

Anybody have an idea where this visual trend started?

Anyway, fun post, thanks cloudscratcher >^..^<
posted by nickyskye at 8:30 PM on September 2, 2008


posted by Clave at 11:59 PM on September 2, 2008

I checked -- evidently there are still tickets available at the door
posted by cloudscratcher at 11:13 AM on September 3, 2008

nickyskye, I was just talking about this with my wife this week - we were discussing the general conflation of art, craft and design, but were bringing into it the global icon/symbol phenomenon. I imagine there are many causes to this, but three major ones for me would be the internet as global mass media (i.e. that you can see pop culture from other countries via YouTube), the particular kind of art that digital tools encourage (simple geometric form-driven art via vectors or 3-D processes) and lastly this particular moment where Japanese pop culture has eclipsed American pop culture as the global culture. The particular cultural institutions quoted in the Pictoplasma statement have an international bent already (fashion, street art and advertising) which is heightened by the internet and the general trend toward a global economy.

Whatever it was, it seems odd to go visually backwards from realism and complexity to minimalist and symbolic.

I would say that this strikes me as an oddly teleological way to look at visual forms. Complex versus simple forms don't exist along a continuum that has a "forward" or "backward." They exist along a continuum that has a "complex" and "simple." For instance, perhaps the most visually complex paintings you could see would be works by Jackson Pollock. You may not like them, but there is a tremendous amount of variation of color, texture and form. It looks basically like an explosion. By contrast a Donald Judd box or a Kenneth Noland painting could hardly be more simple - they are more or less composed of perfect boxes (in Judd's case) or a few straight lines (in Noland's case). They came after Pollock, though, and are generally considered to be moving art ideas "forward." Personally, I don't believe visual phenomenon, broadly speaking, can correlate well to the language world of "forward" or "backward" in terms of progression, but the institutional art world wouldn't see complex and simple, realist and abstract, as being a progression so much as a variation.

I don't think you meant anything by your comment, but it jumped out at me in terms of how one might understand the phenomenon embodied by Pictoplasm.
posted by Slothrop at 12:29 PM on September 3, 2008

« Older pathos and pathology   |   SK8ology Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments