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March 28, 2011 / margikimball

♥ Niki Pilkington

So remember when Crayola came out with neon colors and it basically changed the experience of drawing and thereby cemented all of my memories of the 90s in neon? And remember those cootie catchers and linked ribbons of cut construction paper? I am totally in love with the work of Niki Pilkington.

A quick glance through Niki’s portfolio is enough to tell us that she absolutely loves what she’s doing. The consideration of each of her marks, the refined quality of the compositions, the sense of play, a mixture of the classical with the new…my heart is aflutter.

It’s worth noting the accessibility of the images, that there is something of home and innocence in the work. And well there is something plainly fun about them. A lack of concern for the canon in a way (neon, crayons, cootie catchers, bubbles, balloons!) while at the same time there is a foundation of the classical at work here. This is what makes these portraits as much about us as they are about their subjects.

Fun seems to be emerging as a trend in illustration. And humor. Not in an escapist sort of way, but often paired with a sense of innocence and/or childhood (at least, the childhoods of my generation).

And maybe too there’s something about engagement with the spectacle. Like when I see that neon jacket, those construction-paper-ribbons, they reference for me at least very specific memories of school and shopping and identity. The identity my friends and I collectively laughed at years later. And so employing it here acknowledges-I think-that past funniness. Or something.

At any rate, Niki’s work moves me, for its craft, for its intellect, its references. And I’m delighted to have found it. Make sure to check out her more of her illustrations and keep your eyes open for the prints forthcoming in her shop!


One Comment

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  1. Robin / May 26 2011 7:28 am

    Unique choice of the colour which goes pretty well with the grey tone.Nice work she does!

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