I SWEAR TO GOD, I got absolutely no clue how I found this guy, I’m just mad happy I did. Out of Bucharest, Romania, the young illustrator Cracklez has been on my radar for a minute, but has yet to really pop off like I know he can and will. While there may be some artists out there with a similar style, this dude is completely unique. Let’s break it down.
ROBOTS: Ok, yes, I’ll give him his credit, where the credit is due. Cracklez isn’t 100% based around robot illustrations, but a real good majority of his recent work is. With that said, it seems like this is much of what he’s building his brand around: humanized robots. For a lot of his work, you actually gotta take a second to stop and recognize his subject isn't actually a person. This is all thanks to how he dresses and accessorizes the robots. By giving then some long ass limbs, a common outfit consists of a shirt with big sleeves, baggy pants, and a clean pair of white high tops to finish off the fit. Add in a necklace, cross-body bag, some cool looking firearm, or even a pack of cigs, and you got a real badass robot on your hands. Can’t lie, these robots got some serious drip, worthy of rivaling even the most stylish out there.
COLORWAY: Outside of his apparent obsession with robots, the reuse of one colorway really helps when building out a consistent style. Not including the obvious use of black and white, the three essential colors to a Cracklez’s illustration are blue, red, and yellow, with an occasional splash of pink as a supplement. While the colors are bright, they’re also matted, creating a palette I personally find extremely pleasing to look at. The colorway isn’t an uncommon combination, but the specific tone is unique enough that it feels specific to him, and him alone.
DEEPER MEANING: The tried and true method sitcoms have discovered for making fun of art snobs will never go out of style. Portraying critics trying to make something out of nothing is a staple for parodying this community, done so best by It’s Always Sunny. If Ongo Goblogian has taught me anything, it’s that we can appreciate art simply for being dope. With that said, I’d like to think some of Cracklez’s work has a little bit of deeper meaning. His Aloha Hawaii piece feels like there's something more to it than what first meets the eye. Possibly a commentary on how money hungry Americans have taken the best parts of the state away from the people who have cultivated a rich culture, pushing the locals deeper into poverty? This is a topic relevant for much of the world, thanks to western colonization, whose roots are still present around the globe today. Then again, could’ve just been a piece of work he thought looked sick, so what the fuck do I know? End of the day, a dope design is really all that matters.