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I was attracted to this illustration (even in black and white) because of the smudgy style and the apparent soaring wieners. However the title betrays my fantasy: “The Microbe Wars” was not an article about flying sausages but about germs and that deadly diseases are the truest threat to our national security. I began my exploration at the artist Niv Bavarsky’s squarespace. At first glance, much of Niv’s illustration is complicated; many doodles woven together and separated by thin lines or shading: sometimes “Where’s Waldo”-esque, that’s how much is going on in them. As I’ve written about another artist, I’m happy to find that each of Niv’s pieces has a brief sentence explaining what content it was made for, which helps contextualize the piece. One of my favourites depicts a manicured hand plucking a man out of a container of french fries (and other men). The article was a personal essay about how dating is like junk food, but all I could think of was the pin I bought for my roommate which read: “Fries before guys”.

I found it pleasant that Niv also listed places where he’s been featured but also LINKS to the actual articles featuring himself; this has not been done on any other artist’s website that I have visited throughout this project. I visited his blog because I liked the previous artist’s blog; I like when artists also write about their work and lives. On the blog I found a very interesting piece- the most where’swaldo-esque one of them all, which I will link to because it’s amazing. http://www.beutlerink.com/blog/heres-to-2016

It’s a giant piece featuring everything viral/newsworthy/important/popular in 2016, and there is even a condensed list of everything featured. Besides the art being so much fun to look at (click and zoom around!) I love the list that went with it. I had a moment of surprise at reading the last thing on the list: Hyper Light Drifter. The name is familiar to me because I work as an intern for Boston Center for the Arts currently, and as part of my position I have to take 1 shift per week working in their public art gallery. The first show I worked was called I Dread to Think… which was a multi-artist show themed on fear and anxiety in our culture. The show actually featured two video games, one which I played almost all the way through…and the other was Hyper Light Drifter. I never actually picked up the game to play it, but was told it was interesting but really hard and kinda crazy. (The other game was storyline based and slow paced, more my style.) I had no idea how popular or important this game was…until seeing it on this list right now! now I regret not picking it up to play it at least once.

The last link I visited was where Niv was featured on the Huffington Post, obviously a popular greater-boston area website. It features a small interview with Niv and some of his art. My favourite question was about art teachers and advice, and the accomplished illustrator recalls one of his teachers saying he will never be a working artist, and after that he realized that you simply cannot trust everything a teacher says. Love it! He showed that teacher!

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