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Murakami Meets Moebius in These Abstract Illustrations

We spoke with Israeli artist Ori Toor about the drastic shift his artwork has taken in recent years.
Images courtesy the artist

With their geometric and highly surreal abstractions captured in lush, bold color palettes, the slick new illustrations by Israeli artist Ori Toor mark a steep departure from the fuzzy nightmarish GIF animations he has become known for. His new series of works signifies the artist's attempt to focus more on creating holistic compositions rather than single elements in space. The artist says he is trying play around with the format of a poster rather than the dimensions of an Instagram image, and return to an art form that is more line-based, as opposed to what he calls "blob based."


The artist tells Creators that, every once in awhile, he experiences a sudden impulse to shift between moving and static images. "Every medium has its advantages and shortcomings," Toor says. "What makes the still image so great and different than any other medium is that it transcends time and space. We experience animation, music, books, etc. on a timeline. In a painting we experience everything at once."

Although the finished works look drastically different, Toor explains his actual execution process doesn't change much across different mediums. "I just sit down and work. I might have an image in my mind, I might not. I put on music or a podcast and start drawing from scratch." He doesn't like to sketch because he believes going over and tracing lines makes him nervous and shaky, ultimately ruining the quality of the work. Once he's completed the outline of an image, he immediately starts coloring it.

The artist says he likes to imagine his vibrant abstract arrangements as covers for make-believe magazines, and interfaces for music consoles and apps. "I always felt that if you put some text next to an image it makes everything look better and legit composition wise." Toor thus uses lines and blocks that are devoid of all content to represent headlines, infographics, or just plain text, in order to create more interesting compositions. Despite a few reoccurring motifs like houses, fish, cats, ducks, and trees, Toor's imagery is ripe for interpretation. The artist admits that sometimes he's not even sure what he's looking at. "Personally, I think it's a fantasy of my ideal kind of daily life. A normality that can't happen when you're a starving artist living in the Middle East."


Check out more works by Ori Toor on his website, and be sure to follow him on Instagram.


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