Rendered in chunky, early 2000’s style digital animation, John Karel’s characters cope with everyday ennui in surreal and amusing ways: eating Cheetos with chopsticks, hydrating their plants with Vitamin Water.
His most frequent protagonists are a Day-Glo skeleton and an oddly cute alien. Karel highlights just how strange popular culture can be, remixing memes and poking fun at celebrities.
There’s more to Karel’s work than jokes, though. Despite the goofy, mega low-res nature of his gifs, Karel’s attention to tiny details and careful use of movement and color are impossible to ignore.
Karel’s latest work is a video GIF compilation for Super Deluxe called Life of Aliens. Super Deluxe is “a community of creative weirdos making videos that are more substantial than much of what you see on the internet today.”
Life of Aliens is weird, funny and unexpected. Beyond the usual GIF hypnosis, there’s a certain sense of malaise to it as Karel’s alien repeats the same pointless actions over and over: repeatedly watching his credit card get declined, pushing a plant up an escalator, spending an entire day scrolling through his phone.
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