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Mariana Santos: Pickles (detail)

Work / Illustration

Illustration: Mariana Miserável’s miniatures revel happily in their misery

Mariana “Miserável” Santos – whose nickname means “the miserable one” – is a Portuguese illustrator and graphic designer with a taste for tiny people projecting laser beams from their eyes and cavorting around having a jolly old time, whether that be on a beach, a football pitch or beside a swimming pool.

She self-deprecatingly describes her style as “not knowing how to draw,” but her miniature figures glow naïvely with a universality that transcends linguistic and stylistic barriers. In fact, the weirder her work is the better; one yellow jumper-ed character holds up a piece of paper showing a picture of herself in that same exact pose, recreating the meta experiments of post-modernist painters. There’s something really charming about her little people – miserable or not.

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Mariana Santos: Tornado Art Show

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Mariana Santos: Untitled

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Mariana Santos: Lowbra show

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Mariana Santos: Duel

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Mariana Santos: Pickles Collective Show

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Mariana Santos: W&T

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Mariana Santos: Pickles Collective Show