Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety.
Such a crippling feeling.
As soon as we reach adulthood, it feels as if this overwhelming emotion was just lurking around the corners of our mind, waiting for our most vulnerable moment to viciously attack us. It gets in our system like a worm that feeds off our well-being, devouring all sense of reason or empathy. But could it be that if someone portrayed exactly how we feel, our emotions would at least be easier to handle?
Peter Nidgorski is the man behind This Isn’t Happiness, a Tumblr blog filled with images of romantic disappointment, modern love, unhappiness, and straight up cynicism.
Most of the images curated for the blog were originally part of old comic strips. He carefully selects powerful frames and alters their textbox with messages that express deep thoughts, ranging from deadpan nihilism to sassy, witty remarks.
Reviving these old images, the work of Nidgorski captures thoughts and contradictions that often cross our mind. He goes deep into the shadiest zones of our psyche, using the colored characters as the means to confront some of the deepest emotional secrets that haunt our minds but we’re not truly willing to admit.
Although not all of the work can be considered of his authorship, he excels in his labor as a digital curator. Calling his followers to constantly give suggestions for the dark messages of these comic book characters, he gives new life to the words of others by combining them with the images and, therefore, adding to them a new layer of meaning.
Using frames from fifties’ romantic comic books, the work of Nidgorski radiates a humorous aura in a similar way to Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings. Even though the messages are often bleak, relating these words to fashionable characters makes them heavier, but likewise, more depressingly comical.
Perhaps, the reason why all these images appear so powerful is because of their sincerity. Anyone who has ever felt self-loathing, disenchantment, or just plain anxiety, can relate to the situations captured in each frame. Seeing ourselves reflected in the mirror of an old comic book awakens an intense feeling of empathy within us. Watching ourselves represented in characters that appear so cartoon-like is just excruciatingly hilarious.
The work of Nidgorski is a pop colored window into the tragedy of our daily life. It reads the darkest secrets that lurk in our mind in moments of nihilistic contemplation.
These frames are a humorous response to a world we feel deeply but fail to understand. By dissecting the roots of our daily drama, they remind us of the constant ways through which we deceive ourselves into thinking that our existence has a deeper meaning than our everyday lives. Just bearing with the day to day is a load as overwhelming as being the bullied kid in high school. Each step we take is as heavy as treading with boots made out of iron.
Facing the absurdity of existence by seeing it in a comic book frame somehow makes us feel at ease. Looking at these characters say everything we’ve kept to ourselves lets us know we’re not alone.
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