7 February 2021
7 February 2021
Resolutely positive, icons of contemporary art and pop culture such as Jeff Koons or Takashi Murakami influence a wide panorama of artists and creators of all kinds. Their humorous works with cartoon characters, psychedelic flowers and inflatable elements touch the youthful souls. Their rainbow palette and optimism is projected onto the contemporary creative scene, from Mira Mikati to William LaChance to Pharell Williams and Kanye West. A « happy » spirit that can be found in both established and emerging artists on Artsper, a contemporary art sales website.
An ode to XXL smileys, rainbow shades, first and second degree humour in contemporary art, but also design and fashion to bring a smile to people’s faces!
Various artists – from Speedy Graphito to Jan Kaláb and M.Chat – value colour and extract their primary and secondary tones from their first essence, light. They sign with brilliance artworks tinged with humour. This surge of optimism can be found in Europe’s leading online contemporary art retailer Artsper.
The highly rated artist Takashi Murakami belongs to the « Japanese neo-pop » generation, according to the contemporary art sales website Artsper. His work is full of faces borrowed from Japanese folk culture. His joyful style has seduced the music world, including two major figures of pop and rap: Kanye West, for whom he designed the cover of the album Graduation and Pharell William, with whom he directed the video clip « It Girl ».
Mira Mikati stands out in the world of fashion with her colourful and cheerful style. The influence of the artist Takashi Murakami can be seen in her work, with the use of smilies, cartoon characters and saturated palette. At two occasions, the French designer teamed up with Sarah Andelman, the founder of the fire concept store Colette, to launch a pop-up that looks like the ideal playground. Baptised « Hello Miami », then « Hello Tokyo », the ephemeral stores offered a selection of exclusive pieces signed by leading artists – notably William LaChance – with a strong dose of colour and good humour.
Mira Mikati distinguishes herself by her feminine collections with vibrant pigments, far from the cliché of the grey and sad Paris in which she grew up. Her vision has been putting a colourful filter on fashion since the launch of her eponymous label in the early 2000s. On the programme: oversized flowers, colourful checks and smiles of all kinds. In addition to her eclectic collections, Mira Mikati has signed several collaborations, including a line of clothing featuring the animated characters, the Minions.
Shot of good humour and enthusiasm, a section of artistic creations opt for optimism tinted with humour. From the iconic M.Chat whose wide smile and perfect teeth are available on Artsper, to the insane creations of Italian Jeremy Scott, the spirit is fun, without apparent seriousness and multiplies quotations to pop culture. Another brilliant example is the men’s fashion designer Bobby Abley, known for his collections with cartoon characters.
The contemporary art scene explores bright colours and probes their sensory power through all-over artworks. Whether they paint a basketball court with bright colours (William LaChance), superimpose shades with transparency (Nicolas Dubreuille) or print them using a print technique (Claude Viallat), these artists manage to maintain a playful relationship with colour. The game becomes even more childish with Betsy Enzensberger, a sculptor based in Los Angeles, whose sorbets pretend to spread their sweet colours on the floor. Her sculptures are available on Artsper.
Impudently regressive, San Francisco’s Museum of Ice Cream offers a multitude of multi-sensory experiences centered around ice cream. A place made to « let your imagination run wild in a world where anything is possible ». A pool of sweet confetti, a macaroon seat and a playground with tangy nuances are part of the dreamlike and highly instagrammable landscape of the Californian address. The institution tints its iconography with a millennial pink and claims an inclusive policy, anchored in today’s values.
The world of David Mendez Alonso has the freshness of a child’s drawing. As a designer-artist, he attributes the fantasy of colourful characters to the human figure. His fun and colourful fashion is expressed in the project Outsider’s Division, a collective made up of Spanish designers. His colour-block silhouettes and his animated pieces with crazy prints can be found there. His vibrant universe communicates a particular energy that can also be found in the design set for the 2018 campaign by Lazy Oaf, with whom he has collaborated.
Repeated reference since many years, the Italian group Memphis is a world in itself. Colourful furniture with an unconventional design, the objects make fun of functionality to invent totemic, round, striped, geometric and joyful shapes. Martine Bedin, an avant-garde figure in Memphis design, created the « Super » lamp in 1981, a small object with childlike features, mounted on castors.
In London, a generation of British artists have taken up vibrant hues to invent colourful places, from floor to ceiling. This is notably the case of the artist Camille Walala, who has imposed her « pop-tribal » style in capitals around the world. Her references mix the Memphis movement with the heritage of the African Ndebele tribe, and the optical art of Victor Vasarely. The result is a total work of art, a colourful and geometrical environment in which one can stimulate his mind.
The same idea is shared by Yinka Ilori, a London-based architect and artist whose sponsors include Adidas and Universal Music. In 2019, he has imagined a structure for the Dulwich Gallery in 2019, a colourful striped structure: The Color Palace, an immersive work marked by the fusion of West African and European influences.
Bringing everyday objects to life is what drives designer Yvon Smeets to create a range of abnormally hairy products animated by funny gifs. The teapots are adorned with wigs resembling mops, while the vases are adorned with pretty fringed belts. Far from chromatic neutrality, the objects accentuate their comic effect with colour.
In another register, Luke Edward Hall also brings to interiors a special humanity through a colourful aesthetic combining references to English interiors and his love of history.