Lisbon-based illustration quartet Germes Gang, who work with both traditional forms of illustration and street art, have released a new book visualising their very favourite things. Contemporary Landscapes brings points of obsession for the gang — including “iconic cartoons. TV shows, brands, sports, and the low life” – into being.
For the illustration gang’s four members, collaboration is thought of as “graffiti and art interventions which are politically and socially charged,” they tell It’s Nice That. Consequently, they see their practice as one “embedded in sarcasm,” and “perceive everything related to contemporary life traumatic.”
However, rather than publicising these views for all to see with street art, this time the foursome decided to work solely digitally, only drawing on iPad and releasing the results via fellow Lisbon-based publishers, Stolen Books. As with all their work, Contemporary Landscapes is brimming with popular culture references from its iPhone texting front cover to its use of cartoon heroes, often smoking, drinking and generally living the aforementioned “low life.”
The illustrator’s use of popular culture not only resonates with viewers instantaneously but is a purposeful exploration of “various aspects of consumerism,” intentionally incorporating “both real and imaginary icons and famous brands,” the group of illustrators explain.
“In Contemporary Landscapes you can get all the state of mind, aesthetic and mood of Germes Gang,” they conclude, so maybe even use it as your very own starter park into the four anonymous (but we suspect you might know them) illustrators. From The Simpsons to Vegeta, weed, cigars and sparkling water too, rethink the cartoons of your childhood with the turbulent times of today with the gang’s latest print publication.
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.