Surrealist Cartooning / Comic Abstraction by a Child of The Nineties

Excitingly fresh, stimulating and definitively unique artwork is emerging through young, London based artist Ellannah Sadkin. Her vibrant, quirky pieces are being categorised as Surrealist cartooning or comic abstraction in style. Sadkin primarily works with acrylic and graffiti pens to produce colourful and abstract works, comprising hard black lines, bright flat colour, and organic and geometric shapes. Her artwork embraces a spark of colour, personality and character that revitalises the viewer.

As a child of the nineties myself, I can particularly relate to the heavy influence of the cartoons of that era in Sadkin’s work. For me particularly, this creates a sense of nostalgia, presented as melted moments from memories, borrowing from the past but now re-presented through a refreshing and unique approach. Her work has even been considered as a remix of animation cells from childhood.

Sadkin states she was attracted by the simplicity and moral conduct of the cartoon world, where everything makes sense. Her work steers away from the narrative with the intention to not overcomplicate things, she wants to keep it simple. Yet, she uses markings of cartoons and comics as a tool to explore the human psyche. She unravels familiar characters as a relatable means to investigate inner emotions, anxiety, struggles and a sense of purpose. Her works range from the recognizable to deconstructed abstractions, where cartoon characters are reduced to energetic lines and colour. Her works thus become metaphorical representational paintings, depicting her introspective quest through comic abstraction.

In addition to cartoons, a strong influence can be determined from the bright graffiti scenes of New York and London, in addition to skate board graphics. This influence can be seen to have inspired Sadkin’s approach to composition, with large canvases resembling street art murals in their superimposed layering approach.

Sadkin declares that ultimately her art is a reflection of her mind set. She enjoys the response to her art, with her aim being to make people happy and excited. The bold, colourful and nostalgic artwork undoubtedly spreads a feeling of joy around its spectator, I certainly would find it difficult to look at her work and not smile to myself.

Abstract #1 (For Art on a Postcard 2016)

Abstract #1 (For Art on a Postcard 2016)

About the writer

Tara is an Art Foundation and History of Art graduate born and bred in London. She has travelled the globe extensively, immersing herself in the vibrant arts and cultures the world has to offer, and hopes her next adventure will take her to India! She is currently teaching English as a foreign language whilst enjoying volunteering at Art on a Postcard, and she hopes to break into the art world!