Art, as almost any other thing in the world, adapts to its creators' circumstances. Whenever a new trend appears, it finds inspiration in the society it belongs to. The Internet, for example, has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration that have captivated many creatives across different disciplines. For instance, in 2006, Tao Lin's first publication, You Are a Little Bit Happier than I Am, started a literary movement known as "Alt-Lit" where authors use all those elements provided by the virtual world.
WhatsApp conversations, Facebook publications, and video games have created discourses that aren't exclusive to millennial literature, since they have also merged with the art world. Using new technologies like GIFs, designers like Paul Robertson have developed a new trend in graphic arts: pixel art. The pieces belonging to this current are like digital dreams in 8-bits that make us long for those times when we spent our evenings playing Nintendo.
Although computers provide the necessary tools to create art, it doesn't mean that classic techniques have been left aside. Actually, art is embracing technology to reach new levels. We can find this symbiosis between art and technology in the works of Adam Lister, an artist who uses watercolors to create amazing pixelated images.
Have you ever zoomed in a photo to the point that it becomes unrecognizable? Let's say that Lister bases his art on this principle to depict images and figures of popular culture. It's as if he wanted to prove that no matter what, technology will never exceed human's dexterity.
Nothing and no one can escape from this artist's brush. He uses iconic works of art and adapts paintings like The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, or paints characters like Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Anyone can appear on this artist's canvases, which play with our memories and nostalgia.
Adam Lister's work proves that art can adapt to anything. Art will continue portraying, not only the artists' reality, but also the spectator's, who approaches art to connect in a different way with the world, or through images on the Internet.
Modernity is constructed through references of the past that acquire new meanings with the passing of time. Do you recognize the ones in Adam Lister's paintings?
1) The Godfather (1972) Francis Ford Coppola
2) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) Chris Columbus
3) Edward Scissorhands (199o) Tim Burton
4) Ghostbusters (1984) Ivan Reitman
5) Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) Mel Stuart
6) Star Trek (2009) J. J. Abrams
7) The Goonies (1985) Richard Donner
8) Napoleon Dynamite (2004) Jared Hess
9) Back to the Future 2 (1989) Robert Zemeckis
10) Jaws (1975) Steven Spielberg
To see more watercolored pixels, take a look at Adam Lister's web page and see if you can guess all the figures represented in these colorful paintings.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards