The Playful Abstraction of Skip Dolphin Hursh

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Skip Dolphin Hursh is an artist from the Midwest, living in Brooklyn, who works with such clients as Nickelodeon, Scholastic, and Discovery Channel. He describes his style as a “playful abstraction and vibrant colors through works both simple and complex.”  He uses big colors outlined with thick dark or light strokes, sometimes resembling a children’s coloring book. But, there is a sophistication to his playful designs. Some of his works have  few focal points, while others are wildly complex with dozens of elements demanding your attention at once. In either scenario, he delicately balances the density of his objects, so that even when his illustration seems chaotic, it is still anchored by a seemingly unidentifiable structure that holds it all together.

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His colors are striking and fun. He makes great use of them by contrasting the mood of the colors with the subjects of the piece. His more child-like and simple illustrations sometimes have a solemn tone, because of their subdued or mellow color combinations. And his more complex pieces, which have a graffiti collage feel to them, juxtapose dark imagery, like skulls and distorted heads, with bright mashups of pinks, purples, teals, and greens.

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Lastly, his GIFs take the same elements from his simpler, geometric designs, but infuse them with machinery movement, rotating and pumping like gears and valves. With the liveliness of his work, the GIF seems like the most appropriate medium, allowing him to bring to life his illustrations that look like they were once moving already, but ultimately became frozen as static images. It’s worth checking out many more of his GIFs at his tumblr.

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>> See more of Skip Dolphin Hursh’s work here.

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