There’s more than one thing that’s wrong with the modern society. You really can’t pinpoint a particular thing, which is why illustrators Steve Cutts and John Holcroft decided to portray the most important issues.Both of the illustrators have their own styles – Holcroft focuses on the 50s, whereas Cutts draws his inspiration from 1930s and 1940s. Even though they might be on the opposite ends stylistically, both of them managed to capture the raw aft of modern society.
The wrath of the Internet
This illustration by Steve Cutts depicts how scary the wrath of the internet can be. The person hanging onto the ledge fearful of falling into the pit of monsters conceptualizes how scared we are of feedback on the internet. Can you blame us? Negativity is everywhere.
The current state of Mother Earth
This illustration from John Holcroft is a perfect representation of the current state of our mother earth. With issues like climate change, pollution and resource depletion becoming everyday concerns in modern society, Holcroft suggests this destruction will result in mother nature slipping right through the cracks of our fingers.
Reliving the nostalgia
Who could forget the fad that was Pokemon GO? This app allowed 90s kids the opportunity to re-live the nostalgia and enticed millennials to join in with, what else, their phones.
This illustration is a sad depiction by Cutts of cartoons experienced in modern society as people walked around head down, completely plugged in and “playing.”
With Apple products taking over, what was once known as a lowly fruit is now a multinational technology company.
Holcroft illustrates this by showing the inside of the apple completely overrun by batteries and wires.
This illustration can also be interpreted as an ode to technology as our new form of sustenance.
Money doesn’t mean instant happiness
The idea that money can bring us happiness is a common perspective in a society run on consumerism. Cutts’ illustration uses the money in a mousetrap to show how easy it is to get caught in this way of thinking and die to try to obtain it, only to find out it was a trap.
Social network ego
The problem with social media is how much it can have an effect on our self-worth. Holcroft showcases this harsh reality by using the cereal box as Facebook, the “like button” as food or sustenance, and the bowl as our ego. Today, virtual acceptance seems to be our biggest source of validation.
The current state of the justice system
In this sinister image of a pregnant female prisoner, the artist brings into question the current state of our justice system.
It asks how a child can be expected to succeed when coming from such a dark and difficult beginning. The freedom of the child relies upon the freedom of its parent.
Daily dose of tweets
What would we do if we weren’t able to send out that daily Tweet? Holcroft ponders the importance of Twitter by depicting it as an IV, suggesting we need it to survive.
The girl in the image is younger suggesting it’s the current generation that’s plagued with this issue. The image is symbolic of technology as our lifeline.
The Apple alien
I think this image speaks for itself. Not only is the phone attached to the man’s head, suggesting we can no longer escape our phones, but the fact that it’s completely covering his face is symbolic of how our phones, and our online representation, have become so attached to our identity.
Holcroft offers his own take on consumerism with this depiction of a woman walking the streets of Paris. Shopping is a socially acceptable modern activity which has become almost habitual for many.
The illustrator takes it one step further by suggesting she’s merely wearing a barcode, and there’s no individuality left to her outfit. She has become a product herself.
The age of trolls
Internet trolls, they’re everywhere! Always lurking and always ready to add in a snarky or offensive comment.
Holcroft tackles this modern term by giving it a literal form in this illustration. The image shows a man hiding under a “bridge” on his laptop with three humps on his back and a tail.
Who needs a vacation when they have Facebook? Holcroft plays with the idea of social media as an escape by turning the Facebook logo into a pool.
Although the man in the pool appears relaxed, it’s clear he won’t be for long with sharks lurking nearby. This is the modern form of escape.
The zombie socialypse
It’s the zombie apocalypse! Never mind, it’s just a bunch of people possessed on their phones. This is modern society according to Cutts, where everyone is the walking dead, unaware of their surroundings, completely invested in what’s happening behind their screens. Perhaps an over exaggeration, but not a far cry from reality.