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The Cult of Cute

July 19th, 2010 · 2 Comments

I use the word “cute” to describe this wave of independent art which has a peculiar aesthetic, mixing the light nature of children’s art with adult quirkiness and more serious tones. Whereas Japanese anime and childrens’ book illustration, both influences of this genre, stick to a visual code that is obvious and transparent, this art can have a darker side. For me it can, at times, feel a bit sad, but whatever the reaction the take-away is that this art is not as one-sided as it seems.

Despite the subtle complexity, this art celebrates the silly little things in life that make us content: pets, tea, knitting, rain. It un-apologetically takes a low-brow and childish bent- unsophisticated colors like pink and yellow and plain compositions of quirky little animals. It’s art that is unpretentious in nature and pleasing and happy.