Jim’ll Paint It

Art can make you think; art can make you smile. Falling more towards the latter category is “Jim’ll Paint It“. Microsoft’s arcane Paint progra seems positively antiquated compared with more recent and powerful drawing apps. However, in the hands of an accomplished artist Paint still shines. In the hands of Jim it radiates. At his Jim’ll Paint It tumblr account Jim takes requests — however crazy — and renders them beautifully and with humor. In his own words:

I am here to make your wildest dreams a reality using nothing but Microsoft Paint (no tablets, no touch ups). Ask me to paint anything you wish and I will try no matter how specific or surreal your demands. While there aren’t enough hours in the day to physically paint every suggestion I will consider them all. Bonus points for originality and humour. Use your imagination!

From the Guardian:

Is all art nostalgic? Is it only when something is in the past, however recent, that it becomes interesting artistically?

I say this after perusing Jim’ll Paint It, where a guy called Jim offers to depict peoples’ craziest suggestions using Microsoft Paint, the graphics software included with all versions of Windows that now looks limited and “old-fashioned” compared with iPad art.

For anyone who is really trapped in the past, daddy-o, I am talking here about “painting” on a computer screen, not making a mess with gooey colours and real brushes. Using his archaically primitive Paint software, Jim has recently created scenes that include Jesus riding a motorbike into Hitler’s bunker, Nigella Lawson eating a plate of processors and Brian Blessed riding a vacuum cleaner.

His style is like a South Park storyboard, which I suppose tells us about how South Park is drawn. In fact, Jim reveals how familiar the visual lexicon of Microsoft Paint actually is in contemporary culture. By being simplified and unrealistic, it is arguably wittier, more imaginative and therefore more arty than paintings made on a tablet computer or smart phone that look like … well, like paintings.

Digital culture is as saturated in nostalgia as any previous form of culture. In a world where gadgets and software packages are constantly being reinvented, earlier phases of modernity are relegated to a sentimental past. MS Paint is still current but one day it will be as archaic as Pong.

Read the entire article following the jump.

Image: One of our favorites from Jim’ll Paint It — “Please paint me Jimi Hendrix explaining to an owl on his shoulder what a stick of chalk is, near a forest”. Courtesy of Jim’ll Paint It.