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Pop art is alive and well. Having materialized in the 1950s as an alternative to the traditions of fine art, the movement draws from popular culture and often relies on irony. As we’ve noted before, our highly connected, celebrity-obsessed culture is a breeding ground for such art, so it’s no surprise that it seems to be a particularly thriving art scene these days. And many artist have emerged as household names through the years, such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. Though not quite that prominent (yet), Brazilian artist and designer known as Butcher Billy has a tremendous body of work that pushes pop art forward, while also paying tribute to the past. Butcher Billy is “known for his illustrations based on the contemporary pop art movement. His work has a strong vintage comic book and street art influence while also making use of pop cultural references in music, cinema, art, literature, games, history and politics.” This is just a small sample of his extensive, diverse portfolio. If you didn’t know Butcher Billy’s work, now you do. Killin’ it, indeed.

Via Behance and curioos.com

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Nostalgia is a prominent theme in art and design… simply a reflection of the human experience and human nature in general. We’ve seen it take many forms time and time again. Our latest find is a “bit” unexpected (no pun intended). Taking larger-than-life personas of rap and hip-hop artists, and minimizing them into pixelated 8-bit graphics may seem counterintuitive in this age of lifelike 3D avatars and such. But curiously enough, it works. This ever-growing collection of 8-bit characters is the brainchild of young UK artist A.Mulli (aka Adam Mulligan). A.Mulli’s low-res portraits pay homage to vintage arcade games like Street Fighter and Donkey Kong, imagining current hip-hop artists and rappers and other famous figures through the lens of a 1980s arcade character. Below are a few of our favorites. Keep ‘em coming, A.Mulli!

Via Instagram

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It’s said that what’s old becomes new again… trends are cyclical to some degree. Our recent past (the 1980s) featured a rise in technology, and 8-bit graphics found in Atari and Nintendo gaming systems. These now rather primitive looking graphics have influenced fashion, music and entertainment, and in this case, art. New York-based artist Adam Lister has been exploring digitalized representations of famous works of art and pop culture figures through watercolor painting, and even 3D printing. Lister’s subjects have included everything from the Mona Lisa, to Monet, to Iron Man. All novelty aside, Lister’s work is an interesting examination in visual familiarity. Most of his works are extremely recognizable, yet they are simply made up of a series of large squares and rectangles, and most details are not apparent. Our visual cognition is quite powerful, and Lister capitalizes on just that, with great success.

Via adamlistergallery.com

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