David Jien’s Colored Pencil Works Recall 8-Bit Adventures, Mythology

by Andy SmithPosted on

David Jien’s works on paper and sculptures blend modern pop culture and video games with historical iconography and imagery. These hyperdetailed works can feel both mythological and like a Nintendo RPG. The Los Angeles-based artist uses colored pencil and graphite on his paper works, along with occasional use of holographic film and other elements that add to their otherworldly nature.

Richard Heller Gallery, hosting a solo show for the artist in 2015, once commented on the artist’s “intensely detailed scenarios in colored pencil on paper and sculpture” as “taking inspiration from the infinite possibilities of science fiction, the storytelling of Henry Darger, the isometric perspective and narrative geography of Nintendo and Chinese scroll paintings, the eroticism of Japanese pillow books and the limitless transformations of graffiti.”

Works like “70 objects of nature all up in my cubby” must be examined closely to be reckoned with. In this piece are 70 individual objects, all with varying textures and forms. Each shows the artist’s ability to offer both intrigue and humor within each of his works. Other pieces, like “Collector, 2 Leopards and 6-Dimensional Objects,” appear to be ripped off a screen projecting your favorite 8-bit adventure. And his sculptures bring this vibe into the real world.

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