designer god

Artist: Slow Studies Creative

Sheer, absolute pink is the biggest, most massive color there is, it knows exactly how to charm. The human mind is afraid of aloof monsters and vague gods, and all unfamiliar beings. Slowly but surely, we’ve begun to worship the divinity that thrives in nail polish and fake fur, master of our most garish desires. I feel it in my dreams already, it plants kisses on my feet through coral-colored crocs. It has the face of a flamingo, a beard made of cotton candy, and proudly wears the salmon-colored bra of the naughtiest of grandmas, it is a picture of perfection.

Thanks to it, pastels have invaded our lives, they steal blood both from our hands and minds, they have enslaved us since we first laid in our cradle. Nobody warned us about it, and it’s already too late. These shades have conquered the fabric softeners, maternity clothing, and most design courses. The current state of aesthetics is a barren one, and it lacks any meaningful context.

Slow Studies Creative are keen zealots of this odd beast, this most dominant of aesthetics. I try as hard as possible to engage with their creations, but it feels impossible. There is no cultural component, no theoretical  pursuit or any sort of personal history, there’s only the purest and most effective form of the visual features of pop art. Nevertheless, I’m not able to take my eyes off it, it’s not just that it’s easy to grasp, it’s already broken down for us to consume.

I witness pure magic, it’s not beautiful, but beauty itself, rather straightforward and already processed for mass consumption. This prior sentence isn’t necessarily a criticism. The talent needed to create striking objects or illustrations that are worthwhile thanks to their inherent aesthetic quality is not so easy to find, but it’s true that the current idea of an artist seems closer to that of a designer that refuses to build any sort of useful object.

Humans are obsessed with finding meaning, we need to justify our actions, our preferences, and beliefs, all in order to find that fabled identity. Truth to be told, we will never find such thing, because it does not really exist. By searching for identity, we create one bit by bit, but it is never permanent nor persistent. Identity is neither fixed in place or fully malleable, no human feature is absolute, no matter how much we hope for it or how much we long for absolute truth.

Art is the same, nobody knows exactly what it is, what it entails, or how to justify it. Everyone has a certain idea of the way it works, and we pass judgement based on our own experiences. Sometimes you find something that is just alien to you, but then you look at it, and it feels pleasant. A little bit later, you may find yourself doubting your very essence. 

Even the most visually arresting art ends up reflecting an unknown trait of those who witness it, whenever you feel like a work of art is void of meaning, it may be that it reminds you of your inner void. No matter your physical appearance -your aesthetic-, your true essence will always be in doubt, it’s not that’s difficult to reach, it’s simply unreachable. I feel hunger, unease, I need to feed my void, and once again I see that heavily processed beauty, it kindly offers relief. 

It is not surprising that pastels reach far and wide when we talk about contemporary aesthetics, they offer such undeniable, patent softness, even if synthetic in nature. Pink has in particular reemerged as this king of shades, who will not allow our leering gaze any respite, and has been stolen by the exploitation of both intimacy and tenderness. Here, we can see it, dancing between those sophisticated shapes in order to achieve the archetypical normalcy of contemporary aesthetics. It is a goddess that embodies popular culture and imposed tranquility. One again I blink, with renewed perspective, at last I glimpse at the lifelong body of work from Industrial Designer Barbie, Installation Artist Barbie. Art in plastic is fantastic.

Written and translated by: Ernesto Ocaña