Known for envisioning elaborate hypothetical cities, painter Michael Kerbow's latest will resonate with anyone who just trekked home from the holidays: a dystopian traffic jam. Fueled by a non-travel-related existential crisis, Nine Inch Nails, and whiskey, Kerbow's Gridlock captures both the frustration of a failed relationship, and the frustration of a bottleneck on the I-95.
"I was feeling trapped and unable to access a different path from the one I found myself on. My agitated state of mind, combined with the music and whiskey, resulted in a rather interesting drawing," he writes on his blog. To maintain his barren emotional imprint from sketch to fully realized painting, he needed an especially dystopian color.
"Once a year the paint manufacturer Gamblin Artists Colors cleans their air filtration system and makes a special grey paint from the mixture of pigments they capture," Kerbow continues. "Gamblin calls this paint Torrit Grey and they give it to artists who purchase their paints. They also hold an annual online Torrit Grey competition for painters. Entrants may only use the colors Torrit Grey, black, and white in their work. I decided my drawing of the interlacing roads would make a good candidate to paint in greyscale." A color made from pure nastiness and chromatic waste is the only shade appropriate for a traffic jam of the soul.
Kerbow's other work, while it similarly addresses the implications of rapid human expansion, usually does it with a bit more color. Check out more of his Instagrams below.