21 Jan New Work by Keith Vlahakis feat. Kanye, Cult Film Icons and Stormtroopers
When citing his influences, Keith Vlahakis openly admits to being “Americanised” and indoctrinated by pop culture. Among his muses are Yeezus and the institution of Star Wars, who are frequent subjects of his psychedelic illustrations. It’s refreshing when a South African doesn’t feel pressured to denounce the impact of global superpowers in their work just to fit the status quo. With a “perversely optimistic” outlook, he’s been grafting away and experimenting with animation since we last featured him.
Keith’s work is reminiscent of Pop Art poineers, both in subject matter and technique. The repetition of Jay Z’s face echoes that of Warhol’s Marylin Monroes and Elizabeth Taylors, while the flat, vivid colors and ben-day dot portrait techniques make light reference to Lichtenstein. Adding to our rich pop culture repository, his dramatic hues and sturdy line work re-render icons we’ve never met but feel we know.