Imagine if The Jetsons starred in a Wes Anderson film shot in Portland, Oregon’s more hipster neighborhoods. If that was too much of a mental leap of faith then just take a look at James Gilleard’s addictive fan-boy iconography. Gilleard clearly sees the world through the telescope of 1960s American animations, complete with oversized bobble heads, space-age futurism, and pastel-colored landscapes. His characters, many of which are faithful reproductions of cult film, comedy, and comic book icons, are all viewed through the lens of an exuberant love of how the past once viewed the future. Before man had landed on the moon, popular culture was replete with visions of what could have been, all expressed through pulp comics, children’s animations, and public service broadcasts. This idealism and downright enthusiasm seems like a quaint relic in our cynical modern world.
As an emerging animator, Gilleard’s sensibility for still images comes from his intimate knowledge of how they operate in movement. As such, his canvas prints are layered with surfaces from the fine-grain of flickering television coverage from the NASA moon landings, to the gloss glaze of 1960s advertising images. His images are allegorical, humorous, and in some cases just simple dedications to his favorite films. If you liked the idiosyncratic look of Hanna Barbera cartoons, the scampering legs of the Flintstones, or the bottomless imagination of 1960’s future predictions then James Gilleard’s canvas prints of our pulp present day are the ideal choice.