Artist Focuses On The Drudgery And Bleakness Of Everyday Life
Artist Steve Cutts worked as an illustrator for the London creative agency, Glue Isobar, for years, contributing to digital projects for companies such as Coca-Cola, Google, Reebok, Magners, Kellogg’s, Virgin, Nokia, Sony, Bacardi and Toyota.
In 2012, he decided to leave the firm to pursue a career in freelancing. The products of that move are art that portray some of the darkest truths about humanity and the world we live in today. His entertaining animations and illustrations satirize everything wrong with the modern world, how greed, and the “rat race” for money poisons everyday life, permeating our jobs, what we buy, and the media we consume.
The animated video, “Man”, brilliantly looks at the way humans view the natural environment in a cold, detached manner, usurping its resources for meeting our consumptive demands and desires.
One of Mr. Cutts’ biggest inspirations stems from his bleak experiences trying to make a living after graduating from art school.
”I’ve been making art since I was a kid pretty much. Finding any work even remotely related to art after graduating was very tough and my experience at Art school did little to prepare me for life on the outside in terms going about the business of being a successful artist,” says Mr. Cutts in an interview conducted through e-mail. “My first jobs after art college were mainly laboring in warehouses and selling balloons at a theme park. I eventually started making some money from portrait sculpture, before going on specializing in illustration. From there I was noticed by Glue Isobar in London, who hired me as an in house illustrator.”
Mr. Cutts cites his main influences as vintage 30’s cartoons and graphic novel art.
“I grew up looking at artists like Robert Crumb and Gary Larson, so I’m sure there’s some of their influence in there somewhere. I tend to view the world in a kind in slightly abstract terms and often see humor in dark situations. In terms of comedians, Louis CK has a certain brutal honesty to his comedy I can appreciate. George Carlin was great too.”
His work epitomizes issues like income inequality, the everyday drudgery of the nine-to-five workday, and humanity’s complete disregard for the health of the environment.
“These are things that affect us all on a fundamental level so naturally they’re a main focus for a lot of my work. Humanity has the power to be great in so many ways and yet at the same time we are fundamentally flawed. I think it’s the conflict between these two that fascinates me the most,” adds Mr. Cutts. “As a race of beings we’ve made incredible achievements in such a short space, but at the same time we seem so overwhelmingly intent on destroying ourselves and everything around us. It would be very interesting to see where we’ll be in a hundred years. The term insanity is intriguing – it’s almost like we’re encouraged to act in a way that seems genuinely insane when you look at it objectively, but it’s often accepted as normal right now. I think we will have to evolve beyond our current thinking and way of doing things if we want to survive.”
Most recently as a freelancer, Mr. Cutts has worked on the film, “The Wrong Stuff” directed by Brett Rapkin, and also done work for NPR in the United States, such as animating a speech by a former writer for President Obama, Jon Lovett.
Featured Image via Steven Cutts