Meet Sob Story, the airbrush artist tapping in to Los Angeles’ underground rave culture

“The palette I work in is habitually fluorescent to match the eccentric energies and behaviours of [my] characters,” Eleazar, AKA Sob Story, tells us.

20 September 2023


There’s something that feels distinctly Californian about the work of airbrush artist Eleazar, AKA Sob Story. Between the bright colours, exuberant fun of his characters, and trippy visuals, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes it feel such a way, but Eleazar attributes it to his upbringing in Corona, California, and current residence in Los Angeles. “My art reflects my affiliation in the underground rave scene as a promoter here in Los Angeles,” he tells It's Nice That. “Rave culture embodies a community that is constantly creating makeshift production by renting out warehouses and tearing them apart the same night.” It’s an environment Eleazar describes as somewhat “apocalyptic,” which is why a lot of his work showcases something akin to an apocalyptic atmosphere in and of itself.

“I also take a lot of inspiration from 90s and early 2000s rave flyers that contain anti-establishment imagery, techno music itself being synonymous to nonconforming practices,” Eleazar says. You can find traces of Robert Crumb and Ralph Bakshi, both whimsical cartoonists in their own right, within Eleazar's work, often “inhibiting common themes of fantasy and satire,” which Eleazar strikes a fine balance between. There are, of course, his trademark “vulgar mischief-makers,” in the mix, he explains. They’re fluorescent, eccentric, funky, and undeniably loveable. It’s no wonder they work so well on apparel, of which has proven to be quite popular for fans of Sob Story’s work. “I see my practice as ever growing and can see my characters manifesting into their physical forms in the forthcoming future,” he concludes.

GallerySob Story (Copyright © Sob Story, 2023)

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Sob Story (Copyright © Sob Story, 2023)

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About the Author

Joey Levenson

Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. They were part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.

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