Look at These Paintings of Cuddly Animals and Metal Logos on Cigarette Packs

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Look at them.

Let’s break this down. Do you ever find yourself surrounded by empty packs of smokes? Do you like legendary metal and hip hop artists? Do you like animals? Cool. Now throw these things at the wall and assemble them into modern art. That is pretty much what Sydney based artist Bridge Stehli did with her ongoing art project, lovingly titled “Smokémon”. Take a look at some of my favorite pieces from her collection:

9_anthrax

Anthrax three-toed sloth bringing the noise.

9_bridgestehlideathweb

Death koala being all misanthropic

9_bridgestehligwar

GWAR hippo looks innocent but sprays fluids everywhere

9_bridgestehlihelloweenweb

Helloween pomeranian wants out

9_bridgestehlimayhem

Mayhem pig impales his brethren for cool stage antics

9_darkthrone

Darkthrone lemur is as lovable as Fenriz

Bridge also has a number of pieces for hip hop artists:

9_juicy-jcutout

You say no to drugs, Juicy J two-toed sloth can’t

Cool right? So… why? Noisey recently interviewed the artist and got her insight on Smokémon. I highly recommend reading the full interview, but let me highlight this portion:

No one hates raccoons, except people who work in parks, but people hate Mayhem because they burn down churches. People hate smoking because it kills people. Generally, the audience who would be involved or looking at my work are not going to be shocked by these things or offended but might really enjoy their subversive nature, all three elements incorporated into one work at that scale. It’s a really accessible thing. Lots of people can enjoy this work.

…I’m certainly not saying anything new with it I know, but the reason I keep making them I think is because—well, it’s fun and there’s something kind of addictive thing about it as well, in the same sense that collecting anything is addictive. And smoking is addictive. And like, you gotta catch ‘em all.

…Listening to that music and being confronted with the imagery that goes with it forces you into a position where you have to consider those things and not be scared of them and treat them just as a part of your life. It’s the same thing with smoking. You’re like, psh, whatever, not afraid of death, not afraid of mortality, gonna just smoke this shit even though it’s going to probably kill me. It forces you into a place where you have to confront the idea of your own mortality, or reach some kind of nihilistic plateau where you’re like, “Well, we’re all gonna die, it’s not that bad.

You should really check out all of the entries in Bridge Stehli’s collection here. Gotta smoke ’em all.

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