Artist James Gulliver Hancock has produced some of my most favorite urban illustrations. I have, literally, spent hours staring at it… on the subway. After all, since 6.1 million riders have to spend their commute cooped up like Jeannie in her bottle, the MTA at least has the consideration of placing dynamic and relative compositions for us to look at. Hancock’s work takes the mundane material of everyday life (newspapers, taxi cabs, wet umbrellas, and more) and makes it into a conversation. These pieces remind the viewer of their humanity and relation to others around them. Everyone has to experience the daily drudge.
In terms of technique, these works in particular are made through the use of silkscreen. One comment I can give in that regard- Hancock’s appreciation for the art form is apparent in his work. The quality of line variation and color implementation signifies an in depth knowledge of silkscreen inks and techniques. Whether this comes to him instinctively or through hours of study; this level of dedication produces a valuable experience for the viewer. (click on images for closer detail, there very elaborate!)
detail of ‘UnderGround New York’, client: Hancock published art direction: Hancock date: 2013
James Gulliver Hancock’s work discusses far more then just the New York City subway, but his delightful use of illustration and iconography can be found in most, if not all, of his pieces. While his transit series was put up in early 2014, it can still be viewed in most express trains in New York City. No matter how long it stays there; Hancock’s pieces involve the kind of subject matter that will always be relevant.
Image source: http://jamesgulliverhancock.com/