In 1979, amidst all the punk protests, the Sex Pistols screamed “You’re trying to make your mark on society, using all the tricks that you used on me.” This statement fits perfectly in today’s world. We all want to be remembered for doing something amazing. Yet the age of hypermedia makes it difficult to leave a legacy that is both different and original.
Johnny Rotten would say, “you’re reading all those high fashion magazines, the clothes you’re wearin’, girl are causing public scenes.” Has anything changed since then? We wear the same clothes, read the same books, and watch the same movies.
But unlike back then, we don’t have to think or look too far to realize that everything we do, or whatever anyone else does, needs to be documented online to "prove" it actually happened. Faith is no longer found in belief; we don’t trust each other, and there are no more real heroes.
Giuseppe Veneziano takes inspiration from the punk critics of society to make a joke on the decadence of our current era. Through his illustrations he criticizes how we have turned humanity into a vain and absurd population. Born in Sicily in 1971, Veneziano dives deep into the crassest aspect of each generation he’s experienced in order to capture an ironic representation of it. However, his most common target is our current era. He places the Kardashians, the Pope, and several other characters in comedic and absurd situations.
Giuseppe Veneziano’s works have a very fresh esthetic that reinvents Andy Warhol’s Ready Made concept of colors and humor.
Veneziano attempts to cause impact and raise awareness by being provocative. His combination of the ironic and the grotesque places his protagonists in an unexpected context. He shows Hitler as a drummer and Christ wearing Dolce & Gabbana.
His drawings are full of pop culture characters such as musicians, cartoons, politicians, and religious leaders. They’re all seen in places you'd never expect: Obama made up as Ronald McDonald, Morticia Addams being praised by an angel, and Queen Elizabeth II wearing a Sex Pistols shirt are just some of the many juxtapositions.
The artist is able to achieve several different reactions from the viewer, who might giggle, nod, and enjoy the illustrations. His critical work praises and entertains as it helps us reflect upon the context with which we see these images.
Like Giuseppe Veneziano, several other artists show society sinking beneath decadence and emptiness. Michele Abeles is an artist that uses photo montage to present an upside-down view of objectification and romanticism. Angela Hicks shows us our obsession with celebrity culture.
Translated by María Suárez