Monday, July 2, 2012

"SWAMR!"
And Various Work
Michael Olivo
Oakland CA
2012
Self Published

I've been blogging about this particular illustrator a lot recently but wanted to formally congratulate him for having a sensibility that is simultaneously refreshing, hard edged, clean-lined, and downright hilarious, even mysterious.

Recently he has had a spot in the New Yorker, and also has
been blogging for Beautiful Decay.  He was also featured in a 
large anthology put out by Andy Burkholder in Chicago for the
annual zine fest "CAKE."
 .
 His work reminds me of a shattered realm viewed through broken glass.  Keith Haring and Kiki Picasso collide in a realm of deadpan non-sequiturs, cryptic humor, and air-plane safety manuals.

There is so much humor in the work, I find myself cracking up.  For example the small color strip "Sewer Dongs" has to be the funniest thing I've seen in 6 months.  

There is little to no dialogue, but the silent Futurist Absurdist cartoon animals and people collide in a mess of familiarity and kaleidoscopic explorations of the consciousness.
More of his work available here at Juxtapoz:
http://www.juxtapoz.com/Illustration/michael-olivo

On nearly every other panel we see a pornographic allusion, and forms that are constantly abstracted/severed/exploding.  The placement is not haphazard, however, so the forms stay within strict guidelines, as if they were designed to be read as a sort of industrial hieroglyphic language, suspended as if pinned in on a museum whiteboard.

Exploration in to this kind of thought process is a puzzling, gratifying process for certain.  I can only describe it as Sterilized Psychedelic Pornography, and I mean that in the most positive way.

-A.$.

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