Updated: Oct 11, 2021
Deconstructing deconstruction pop artist Matt Gondek is tough and fun.
Let's get this out of the way first: we are long time fans of Matt Gondek. CROSSxOVER Founder, Charles Lee, owns a few prints. 'Nuclear Family' and 'Miami Panther,' to name a few. They are exquisite. Magnificent. Incredible. Off-kilter. Demented. Is it weird that we like the style so much?
Tons of people would say no. That's because Gondek fuses things we Gen X'ers love – comic books, video games and cartoons. The essentials of 80's childhood. Even if you didn't grow up on Looney Tunes, Smurfs or Transformers, for newer art collectors, they definitely had grown up on Dragonball Z, The Simpsons and Family Guy.
Add in the exploding heads and melting faces, and you've got our attention. This is what makes his art resonate for us as it seriously makes us ponder "how can you do this to our beloved characters?" and also "damn that's cool!" at the same time.
Donald Duck dressed like #Negan. Melted Mickey Mouse. It definitely makes you pause and soak it in. A pretty interesting take on the intersection of art and pop culture. Wouldn't it be interesting to think of his entire portfolio as some kind of MCU multiverse? Each character playing a role in some larger universe. Well, maybe that's just us. But damn, it would be trippy if all this were to somehow make it onto one cartoon movie somehow.
Getting back to the actual art technique, every contoured line, emotion and color palette feels right, like a comic book. There never seems to be a poor choice of color or a graphic element that was poorly art directed. Nothing hurts the eye.
As a person who grew up in the advertising world, yours truly can appreciate the detail in art direction. Color choices that don't burn your retinas, clean lines, balance and of course, messaging. All of these pillars wrapped up into a nice presentation goes a long way. Abstract art is an acquired taste and takes getting used to, but this hits right at the heart of something comfortable and we aren't afraid to say that is quite all right in our book. Go watch #Thundercats.