There’s something about nudity, adultery, and all the other jealousies that boil just below our surfaces depicted in cardboard and vegetable collages that somehow makes it all seem a lot more scandalous.
German illustrator Christian Hückstädt’s work is a balance of contradictory extremes. Sure, it looks like something you’d find pinned on a pre-schooler’s refrigerator door, but the subject matter and nuance of emotion is distinctly adult. The simplicity and child-hood association with his media choices make it easy to overlook just how skilled he is. With just a few pieces of cardboard he’s got not just pictures, but entire stories, coming to life here.
This next one is a favourite of mine. I don’t know much German, but the onomatopoeiac beauty of “Putzmeister” isn’t too hard to decipher. Plus, there’s a toilet nearby, so that helps…
That’s just the beginning. Hückstädt also does some pretty amazing photographic work with fruits and vegetables. It’s not that easy to make a watermelon look trepidatious, but he pulls it off big time:
There haven’t been too many times in my life where I’ve said “Gee, I wish I knew more German.” (and I’ve been to Berlin…) but right now I really wish I knew what all these vegetable posts were saying. I have a feeling it’s subtle and brilliant and probably one of those things that’s a bit too smart to translate into other languages. Like reading José Saramago; if it’s that kick-ass in English, imagine how mind-blowing it is in Portugese.
These are just from two sections from Hückstädt’s site – we haven’t even gotten into his vector, graphic, and print work yet. To delve deeper (especially if you can read German) check out his prolific career on his site.