A Juxtaposition of Innocence and Aggression

November 18th, 2009

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Minjae Lee is a young South Korean artist whose work expresses a semi-disturbing inner tension that is tough to ignore, even if you feel that you’d like to. Its powerful colors, halting imagery and clever juxtaposition of beauty, innocence and fragility with brash, loud and aggressive is what stopped me in my tracks. I can’t stop staring at each image, no matter how harsh they can be at times.

My world as a designer, sometimes gets a little sterile…design on screen, structure within that design, selling, promotions, etc and when I see an illustrator with such an organic and fresh style, and one that evokes such emotions, it makes me wake up and take notice.

Another thing that is just as inspiring is that Minjae is only 19 years old! He is self-taught and uses traditional tools — such as markers, pens, crayons, acrylics — to create his illustrations.

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Drama is the theme that seems to permeate all of his work. His unworldly females exude a dark, organic tension. Even the brightest colors do not elevate them out of their dark, dangerous and edgy world. It is so refreshing and inspiring to see something this different – no matter how dark the subject matter. LOVE his work!!

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