Banana vs Donut by MaricorMaricar.
Each year I look forward to exploring new graphic art and illustration talent at Pick Me Up, and so it was that I trundled along to Somerset House this Sunday, skirting the Marathon on the Embankment to enjoy a relatively quiet visit. First up, some of my favourite pieces from Pick Me Up Selects, the opening section where new talent is given a brilliant showcase.
MaricorMaricar are twins who work out of Sydney in Australia – I loved their beautiful typography created with delicate embroidery, but my favourite pieces had to be their tiny artworks featuring surreal images and puns. A banana doing a somersault through a donut? Why not?!
I instantly recognised the intricate work of Katie Scott, who I first spotted at her graduate show in 2011 – she makes delicate patterned artworks that remind me of old fashioned classroom anatomical aids. I’m glad to see she’s had a busy few years, creating artwork for the likes of New York Times and Phaidon.
Malarky is an interesting choice for Pick Me Up, best known to many as a street artist who paints bright big toothed animals all over walls and shop fronts in east London. We couldn’t resist a little print titled Hotpot Snottini, which features one of his beasties inside a 70s casserole dish. Strange and wonderful.
Ping Zhu goes by the very apt moniker Ping’s Zoo – loved this jungle scene, erupting with animal activity. As a follower mentioned on instagram, I love how you don’t see all the beasties straight away.
We will be posting an exclusive interview with self confessed professional doodler Hattie Stewart shortly. Hattie channels the spirit of pop artists such as Keith Haring to transform glossy high fashion magazine. The likes of Vogue, Pop and Love are given outrageous makeovers, the models acquiring colourful leopard print skin and cartoonish eyes.
I was struck by a wall of marvellous miniatures by RCA graduate Daniel Frost, who works his stick figures in bold primary colours. Each little vignette and model is a part of his imaginary Frostville, where the strangeness of everyday life is celebrated.
Delicate watercolour people populate narrative illustrations by the Glasgow based William Goldsmith – these are a sneak peak at pages which feature in his upcoming graphic novel The Bind.
The popularity of risograph prints shows no sign of waning, and their instantly recognisable muted neon colour palette was present throughout Pick Me Up. We were so smitten with this Squid King that we bought him, a bargain at £10. Rob Flowers (above and below) is inspired by mythology, folklore, early fast food merchandising and the surreal. His wall was a riot of monsters and mushrooms in a zingy range of colours.
Above I have covered the artists whose artworks I captured reasonably well in photos (not easy, when trying to carry a squealing baby at the same time, I’ve discovered), but there are many more of mention: fabulous Kama Sutra inspired typography by Malika Favre, surreal 3D installations by Anna Lomax, brilliant crayon portraits by Damien Florébert Cuypers, stunning retro style minimalist art inspired by everyday activities (such as painting toenails) from Sarah Vanbelle and delicate dreamlike fantasy environments by You Byun. Coming soon: my round up of the best of the rest of Pick Me Up. Make sure you catch the last few days if you haven’t already been: full listing here… Read last year’s review of Pick Me Up Selects here.
- Pick Me Up Selects 2015 Review
- Pick Me Up Contemporary Graphic Art Fair 2012: Pick Me Up Selects Review
- Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival 2013: A Review of Illustration Collectives
- Pick Me Up London 2015 Review
- Pick Me Up London 2014: graphic arts exhibition review