My work along with some awesome and talented classmates has been featured in the SVA Portfolio 36.
You can see the book here
The pungent soup of images has become more complex, varied and overwhelming in this digital age. It is filled with so many spices and ingredients, it is really indigestible. Tumblr archives and Instagram feeds place the greatest masterpieces (usually unaccredited) cheek by jowl with snapshots of precious new kittens—no one can sense the varnish in the pixels, (it could just be the newest filter) and most people are too distracted to take notice.
Making some sense (or perhaps nonsense-sense) of all of this pictorial excess is the great challenge to our new generation of artists. By ladling from the sloppy soup they will tell us how they feel, what amuses them, and what they need to say, i.e., the truth. But very different from previous generations, the medium is not the message; the content is what is important, as jpeg stacks upon jpeg, ad infinitum.
Figurative artists, illustrators and cartoonists have always had to understand a visual language that communicates without explanation necessary. Today’s new breed must still continue that important tradition. However, the time honored “canon” has been smashed by our mobile devices, and perhaps the common somnambulistic scrolling of images has reduced our once most potent pictures to neutered pap...a tasteless and non-specific broth!
But all is not lost, if these new graduates thought deeply, as they were asked; and if they understand that those who dedicate their lives to “picture making” will always have a place of importance in an image obsessed world. They know we cannot live on “selfies” alone.
A contemporary artist is expected to be international, and not depend on an overarching style (that’s seen as a tad sad nowadays), and most importantly, they must be flexible thinkers, and able to interpret and reflect our quicksilver (and unfortunately often superficial) world.
As you can see from these pages, the future looks bright when it comes to picture making! The skills of these young artists are honed, their voices are original and varied, and the images all speak of our very cacophonous present—while often borrowing some flavors from our collected imagistic past for added heft. I hope you enjoy leisurely looking at these pages as much as I enjoyed making their selection. We all couldn’t be prouder of this visual feast!
I would like to thank the Senior Portfolio Illustration and Cartooning faculty who helped in the selection process; Steve Brodner, Chris Buzelli, T.M. Davy, Frances Jetter, Marvin Mattelson, Keith Mayerson, David Mazzucchelli, Gary Panter, Carl Potts, Yuko Shimizu, Jillian Tamaki and Kali Ciesemier.
We also thank President David Rhodes for his vision and support of this ongoing document.
Chair, BFA Cartooning & BFA Illustration
School of Visual Arts
Nelson A. Arroyo
Michele E. Clarlson
Ana T. Pimentel (Me)
Shang Chi Yu