"Adult Summer Camp" Artist Makes Emoji Oil Paintings

“Someone had to do it,” says Alex Godin.

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Nov 24 2015, 9:55pm

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Last week, the Oxford English Dictionary declared the “Face With Tears of Joy” emoji to be the word of the year. Artistic reactions to this were swift, among them emoji oil paintings, a project by Alex Godin, of adult summer camp and stretch limo dumpling tour fame. “We’ve reached peak emoji,” he tells The Creators Project. “Someone had to do it.”

Small electronic pictographs that were once only available on certain Japanese carriers, emoji are now a whole virtual language of their own, what Godin calls a true “symbol of the internet generation.” The emoji paintings are designed in New York City, and painted in China by artists in Dafen, just a few miles away from the iPhone factory. Unlike the workers in the factory, Godin assures, these artists are well compensated and work mostly from home where they specialize in large scale hand-painted reproductions of famous European artists. 

Godin wanted to commission them to paint the emoji as “a universal symbol owned by nobody,” works that take emoji out of the realm of consumer goods and into the world of art. The paintings are a direct reflection of the world today and its digital connectedness; Godin shares that his communication with his Chinese contacts relies heavily on emoji. 

The paintings are available online and depict a variety of emoji: faces, the praise hands, hearts, and, of course, the poop emoji. A "mystery emoji" option is also available. Order your own here.  

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