Miro Denck on his psychedelic illustrations inspired by the past
- Rebecca Fulleylove
- 5 December 2017
Berlin-based artist and illustrator Miro Denck has creativity in his blood with his mum working as a graphic designer and his dad having previously studied art. He studied visual communication at the University of the Arts Berlin and believes a “pure and honest” approach to work is the key in expressing his ideas.
Miro’s illustrations have a psychedelic edge to them, but he tempers the eccentricity with carefully chosen colour palettes that feel warm and nostalgic. “I think I draw most of what I do from the past, I’m very much into 60s and 70s counterculture as well as the psychedelic movement, but I also dig a lot from the late 19th and early 20th Century art movements, notably classical modernism and surrealism,” says Miro of his aesthetic. “Apart from that I’m influenced by contemporary developments like post-internet art and what happens in illustration these days like anti-narrative comics and forms of abstraction.”
The illustrator’s drawings often depict abstract concepts using symbols, the elements and graphic imagery to communicate his ideas. Some of his most recent projects include his MA final project, which was a series of prints creating possible futures with artificial intelligence, . “Due to the topic’s ambiguity I was trying to get into the matter on a more intuitive and suggestive level instead of being too explanatory or morally instructive,” says Miro. Elsewhere the creative has just drawn a series of illustrations to accompany an essay on Visual Melt, which explored the idea of immortality.
When starting on a piece of work Miro typically begins by researching ideas through articles, moods and atmospheres which leads to more visual-based research. “I often try to incorporate less obvious elements, stuff that doesn’t necessarily belong in that context and see how it could change the message or strengthen its effect,” says Miro of his creative process. “It’s the absurd, the surreal and the irritating in a piece of art that attracts me the most. Then I start sketching in a thumbnail format, move on to a bigger scale and redraw my draft of the light table until it’s strong enough to make a final version.”
While Miro’s work dabbles with ambiguity, he’s very clear on what he hopes to convey through his work: “Escapism is great, but only if it provokes something within us that we can bring back to the people that surround us,” he says. “Sometimes, on certain political issues I guess I tend to become more feisty or cynical, but my provocation is always pointed towards making this world a less selfish and more loving place.”
About the Author
Rebecca Fulleylove is a freelance writer and editor specialising in art, design and culture. She is also senior writer at Creative Review, having previously worked at Elephant, Google Arts & Culture, and It’s Nice That.