‘Pictoplasma’ is a new graphic art exhibition in Madrid, featuring work from 20 international artists and illustrators.
From ‘Hello Kitty’ to ‘Emily the Strange’, these punchy motifs are part of a design heritage influenced by 1950s cartoons, folk art and the Japanese aesthetic, ‘kawaii’.
As curator, Peter Thaler, explained, the exhibition puts an onus on showcasing characters with a quality of presence that works independently of narration or context: “The exhibition is generally about very graphic characters ,and what they do best is that they communicate something small, something immersive, maybe it’s just a little emotion or that they are cute. It says ‘hello’, it’s very friendly, very open and very, very shallow.”
The exhibition’s centre-piece is a shrine devoted to Selim Varol’s vast collection of vinyl toys, many of them limited edition collector’s items.
The exhibition at Madrid’s La Casa Encendida runs until September 8.