Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Digital Dementia: The Incredible Art of Steven Lefcourt

Very little is known about artist/illustrator/graphic designer Steven Lefcourt. I kinda think he likes it that way. Despite his art being sold on dozens of websites, there is literally no legit info on him. It's hilarious and infuriating at the same time. When you look for bio info online, this is what you get:
Steven Lefcourt was born with bright green skin because of a strange infection. He might tell you today that the color was permanently combined with his DNA, and from the time he was old enough to explore the world on his own, he truly believed it. He realized early on he had two career choices that he could utilize to satiate his passion for green. Science or Art. If you asked, he might tell you he would rather paint frogs than disect them, but the truth is far more simple. He is really bad at math.
Here's what we do know. Steven Lefcourt is from Vermont originally, but currently resides in California. When designing apparel, he sometimes uses the pseudonym ste7en. His work is routinely featured on sites such as Threadless, Shirt.Woot, RiptApparel, DesignByHumans, and more!

In 2009, Steven gained recognition for his 8-Bit Fatalities collection, an art series depicting beloved video game characters violently dispatching their pixelated antagonists. He explains:
Before Mortal Kombat, violence in video games was largely unheard of or ignored because of its extreme pixelized simplicity. But when Liu Kang and Sub Zero came along to finish off arcade goers the world changed and parents were in an uproar (not mine though). 
I couldn't understand what the big deal was though, because as a videogame player all my life I had already considered my actions life and death. Just because you didn't see pac-man violently tearing into the ghosts with his jaws, or mario smashing in the brains of a goomba, thats what I knew was happening. I knew my goal was to kill these enemies, so Mortal Kombat wasn't a big change for me. To me, it was still just a game, where fake deaths happened as part of game progression. To uninformed adults, however, Mortal Kombat was a photo realistic depiction of kids becoming complicit in virtual murders. And so, I decided to show everyone just what I imagined was happening when these little blocky, pixelized abstractions did when they came into contact with eachother, but in a much more visceral, and gory way than could ever be shown with limited graphical systems.

In 2011, Lefcourt made another big splash when Uproxx's Gamma Squad featured his highly entertaining photo-manipulation project of Real Life Pokemon! Steven's vision was "to create a hybrid accurate-realistic approach, somewhere between the actual game/anime characters and realistic animals."

Currently, on top of being insanely busy creating art for numerous apparel companies, Steven is also working on an 8-bit video game of his own - Dash Atom! Not surprisingly, Lefcourt previews a ton of the game's art work, but the only description of the game he gives states "The super hero video game where you jump, dash or crash." There doesn't seem to be an official release date, yet! But, I can tell you this...the insanely charming Kraken figure from the header image comes directly from the game! Looks like a winner. We can't wait to play.

Click on any pic to enlarge!

Be sure to visit Steven Lefcourt's NeatoShopWebsite, Flickr, Tumblr, and follow him on Twitter!

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