The development of technology which comes as a result of the advancement of natural sciences has always been coupled with an attempt by social sciences to explain and determine the effect such development has on men. Today is no different.
The alienation that new technology might bring is one popular aspect of such research. It is, however, art that portrays the intricacies of the human condition in the most direct, visceral way possible.
John Holcroft and Steve Cutts are two British artists who deliver stunning artwork about the disorientation and alienation that are sometimes brought upon by technology.
John Holcroft is an illustrator based in Yorkshire, England whose work emulates a screen print style in the manner of 1950s poster ads; over the last two decades, he has worked with some of the biggest names from all over the world: Financial Times, BBC, Reader’s Digest, Economist and the New York Times.
Steve Cutts, who has done work for a Simpsons episode and a music video for Moby, is based in London, England. His work in part focuses on ridiculing contemporary extremes and his style varies from 1930s and 1940s animations to modern comic books.
Check out this two artists’ different but convergent views of contemporary society, courtesy of SmallJoys.
1. The curse of the internet comments
This illustration by Steve Cutts depicts how scary the wrath of the internet can be: a person is desperately holding onto a ledge, fearful of falling into a pit of monsters as a metaphorof how scared of online feedback one can become.
2. The End of Literature
John Holcroft perfectly depicts the end of literature by creating a book in the shape of a coffin. The genius touch in this image is the social media nails sealing the coffin shut.
4. Slipping away
Another illustration from John Holcroft, this image is a perfect representation of the current state of our mother earth. With issues like climate change, pollution and resource depletion becoming everyday concerns in modern society, Holcroft suggests this destruction will result in mother nature slipping right through the cracks of our fingers.
5. Pokemon GO into the abyss
6. An apple or Apple?
7. Rat race
8. I, Daniel Blake
9. A bone for a good dog
10. A glass ceiling or a pink ribbon?
11. “Potential Life Partner Assortment”
12. A brave new world?
13. Modern parenting and education
14. No life offline?
15. “45% massively overrated”
16. Earn. Consume. Die.
17. A barcode or a prison uniform?
18. “I hate to break it to you…”
19. The internet guru is everywhere
Not everything was better in the “good old days”, though, and the artists are aware of that.
21. A respite or a form of control?
22. I Am Legend
23. The last one standing
Cutts delivers his own stunning illustrative rendition of the famous saying that “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money,” an old Indian proverb which exact origin is unknown.
Check out how a team of pranksters tricked NYC passers-by queue for the new iPhone in front of a fake Apple store.