Born in the United Kingdom, NYC-based Jon Burgerman is a contemporary artist, or one might say, a professional doodler and his signature bold, graphic style is quite infectious. He began with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University before moving to New York in 2010. Since then, he’s been exhibiting his work all over the world and even became one of the first artists to exhibit artwork in the White House, which led to a personal note from Vice President Joe Biden. This year he’s been focused on making books but he recently launched a coloring book, called Burgerworld, that gives you the opportunity to partially jump inside his creative mind while exploring your own. Burgerman’s playful and distinctive approach to art will make you want to dive right in and in this week’s Friday Five, you get to do so.
1. Adam Green’s Aladdin
I went to Adam’s exhibition at the Hole Gallery in NYC earlier this year and loved all the sets and props from his Aladdin movie (which I’ve not actually seen yet). I’m a bit worried the movie might just be terrible (name one good movie with Macaulay Culkin in apart from Home Alone) but I really like the lo-fi cardboard DIY aethestic of the whole project. Rather than try to be super slick and clean everything is hand made, a bit rough and full of personality.
2. Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones directed, amongst many other things, my absolutely most favourite animation ever, One Froggy Evening. He also created characters (Marvin the Martian, Road Runner) brought many to life (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck) and defined believable, strange, wonderful worlds within animation.
3. Edward Gorey
I recently went to The Edward Gorey House museum on a trip back from Nantucket. I didn’t know Gorey’s work that well but now I’m a complete convert. I love anything that’s got a seemingly innocent exterior but is dark and naughty inside. His drawings and line work are excellent, full of macabre humour. Looking over his work I though that Tim Burton really owes a huge debt to Gorey. In fact you can see a lot of Edward Gorey in today’s comics, zine’s, poster scenes.
4. Norman McLaren
I love the work of Scottish Canadian animator Norman Mclaren. The abstract, playful, cheeky films he made are truly inspiring. I mean he made a film called Boogie Doodle! It’s amazing to think he made these back in the 1940s. I can only dream to make something as beautiful as Dots on my ipad, it just doesn’t seem possible. Through Mclaren’s work I’ve discovered lots of National Film Board of Canada animation I love, and more abstract animators, playing with visualising sound, like the amazing Mary Ellen Bute.
5. Esphyr Slobodkina
The influence of Esphyr Slobodkina is evident today in a lot of illustration and graphic design but I don’t think she gets the credit she deserves. Her abstract works and picture books are wonderful, abstract and still feel fresh. Less is often more and I think you can see her influence on artists like Stuart Davis (currently showing in the Met) who then laid the foundation for someone like Nina Chanel Abney.