Minion Madness: a Compromise Between the Art of the Past and the Art of the Present
As an artist, relating new beginnings to blank canvases has become second nature. I combine imagery from all centuries. My inspiration comes from everywhere; historical moments, childhood characters, fantasy, and reality. Everything I see, experience, or even taste, is art in my mind, and it urges me to start creating. Some of my most frequently visited inspirations are drawn not from art history as expected, but from a cartoon movie, Minions. I loved these characters from the moment I laid eyes on them. Not just for their adorableness, but for the simplicity in which they emote, their cross-cultural relatability, and their love for bananas, which is all represented in my minions art.
My Yellow Friends
They are yellow. They are the color of sunshine and happiness. Just looking at them puts a smile on my face and the faces of millions of others. Young and old alike, people find themselves a kindred spirit in minion kind. Any time a minion is in the picture, it suddenly becomes relatable.
Although they do not say much, they are expressive beyond words. They have created a malleable shorthand for a vast emotional spectrum. Through the simplicity of expression, they communicate any number of thoughts and feelings. Through them, I can project my own experiences and opinions.
‘Standing Together,’ personifies my experience as a child visiting art galleries with my friends and family. I always felt as if I was that person trying to whisper throughout a movie and being told to ‘shush.’ Here I am in minion form expressing every one of my moods. From wide-eyed in shock at the beauty of a painting I have never seen before, to the giggling child inside of me laughing at a silly smile or awkward pose.
Now a pervasive cultural reference these stylized characters have pushed their way into every aspect of our society. So for me, I cannot see any reason as to why they would not also be in an art gallery or sitting at the table of The Last Supper. Often when I view a classic work of art, I think to myself what it would be like to be inside that painting. At that moment, with those figures, what would I say? How would my face read? I feel that through minions, I can answer all of these questions and more.
One such example was when I was on holiday in a city far away from home. Visiting the city gives me a heavy feeling, as though somebody is stepping on my head. I feel overwhelmed by the crowded streets and the fast-moving pace that every animal, car, and human seams to keep. I express this feeling in my painting ‘Running On The Street.’ I was afraid at that moment that somebody was literally going to step on my head.
They can be used as a mouthpiece for any emotion or message that one tries to bring across. My yellow friends represent so many sides of people that I have never even met and of me. Through them, I can reach out to an even broader audience. We all have emotions, we all relate to one another somehow. Minions teach us just that.