Animism — the belief that all creatures and objects are imbued with spirit — is pre-pagan, mythical, and, if translated into cartoons, endearing. Consider the charm, at once magical and comforting, of the singing flowers from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, the stars of Władysław Starewicz’s stop- motion films (dead insects, toy puppies), and even Clippy, the divisive and now-defunct Microsoft Office assistant — say what you will, but he was bright-eyed and wholesome, and always knew when I was writing a letter.
Similarly, the street art of Tom Bob animates pockets of the urban landscape in New York City, New Bedford, Massachusetts, and other locales, making even a city’s most innocuous objects seem alive and adorable. Storm drains become Oreos; a drainpipe becomes the trunk of a smiling elephant; a barred window becomes an open birdcage; an electrical outlet becomes a man brushing his giant teeth. Even when he isn’t transforming innocuous street items into something far cuter and more vibrant, the results are sublime, from an alien mural on a beach, for example, to the kissy-faced, neon-hued whales on the roof of two New Bedford buildings. The effect is to evoke a delightful urban playground that, admittedly, is very Instagram-friendly, but, more importantly, otherworldly.
The New York-based artist’s work is very much in the spirit of the French street artist OakOak, who also brings the city to life, or the Québecois artist Roadsworth, who turns it into a playground. It also evokes animator Sean Charmatz’s “Secret World of Stuff,” in which everyday objects (leaves, soup dumplings, ice cubes, bike racks, hanging planters) are animated laughing, crying, melting, or hugging each other. It’s all the stuff of childhood imagination, but if you know how and where to look, little wonders are hidden everywhere.
h/t Bored Panda
View more of Tom Bob’s work on his Instagram.
I won’t bother you with talk about how obscenely decadent and out of touch the Frieze art fair is. And yet…
Curators Tahnee Ahtone, La Tanya S. Autry, Frederica Simmons, Dan Cameron, and Jeremy Dennis offered the public a window into their curatorial processes through the work they produced during their fellowships.
Who says tragedy has to be tragic? Co-presented with National Black Theatre, this fresh, Pulitzer-winning take on a classic centers Black joy and liberation.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Jeremy Dennis presents an exhibition to offer insight into his curatorial process.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Dan Cameron presents an email exhibition to offer insight into his curatorial process.
For the triennial’s eighth edition, work by more than 70 artists is featured in 12 exhibitions and a polyphonic program, installed at various locations throughout the German city.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Frederica Simmons presents an email exhibition to offer insight into their curatorial process.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, La Tanya S. Autry presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
This exhibition explores the work and short-but-impactful life of the groundbreaking ceramic artist. Now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Tahnee Ahtone presents an email exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
This week: Why does the internet hate Amber Heard? Will Congress recognize the Palestinian Nakba? And other urgent questions.
Artist Dan Jian makes the point that landscapes and memory are one and the same.