Social critique through illustrations, a look at John Holcroft

Social Critique through illustrations, a look at John Holcroft

Growing up in England John Holcroft was always interested in making art from a young age with it being his greatest source of enjoyment. Holcroft has been working as a freelance illustrator since 1996. While starting off with acrylic on canvas paper, in 2001 however he turned his attention to creating digital art. John has made many works including commissioned work for companies such as BBC, The Economist, and many others. Over the last 20 or more years his style has changed many times ending up with what we show before you today.

Each work is in a ‘Screen Print’ style and a color palette that makes it feel as if it was pulled from a 1950s magazine or comic. Holcroft’s style is very minimalistic and to the point, as he often uses his works to critique societal norms and concepts. Regularly his topics of critique are social media, greed, and the “Rat Race” of life and work. Other topics include love, consumerism, health concerns, and climate change.

One of my favorite works by him is the one with a man pouring a box of Facebook likes into an “Ego” bowel. The image shows how individuals use social media as a source of happiness, and they stroke there own ego by bragging online and having a type of approval from others. Another work I always find myself returning to is the image of a cigarette burning down while the ashes turn into money. Possibly representing how large tobacco companies really are or how expensive it is to smoke and how you get nothing back from it besides health complications and addiction. With so many works by John have a scroll down the page and take a look and try and discover what exactly he is critiquing in these stylish and eye-catching illustrations.


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