Sci-fi plastic surgery vixens , computer generated nymphs, bambi’s, voluptuous peaches, and yet more bambi’s. Just a small selection of Faiyaz Jafri’s work. Some of his illustrations might verge on the pornographic and other works by the New York based artist are positively oozing unadulterated cuteness. He seems to have an obvious obsession with the bambi character. The perky bummed deer pops up frequently in Jafri’s work. Displaying both her innocent and seductive side. It is this duality that is the bare essence of his work.
Jafri, born and raised in rural Holland and of Dutch and Pakistani decent, has always been somewhat of a perfectionist. While most of his peers would prefer paint and brushes during college art classes, Jafri’s tools of choice where ruler, calculator and divider.
Realizing that a computer could draw a far straighter line than he ever could, it was only a matter of time before Jafri would start using computers as soon as the technology became more readily available.
In 1987 he started making his first illustrations on a small Mac using basic programs such as MacPaint and Canvas. Cumbersome and limited as these programs may seem now, they where perfect for Jafri’s already iconographic style. His work evolved from strictly 2D via 2.5D (Photoshop retouched line art) into 3D images and computer animations.
Innovations in PC’s certainly contributed to this evolution. The availability of faster more powerful computers enabled Jafri’s work to evolve into the almost photographic style that it is today, but without losing his sense of purity for the subject. His esthetics are still based on mass media, film, iconographic, Pop art, Western and Asian comic books and are not dictated by his medium.
Despite the vast possibilities offered by modern computers he stays close to his subject, leaving out unnecessary frills and extra’s until he’s left with an image that is unambiguous and almost pornographic in it’s bluntness.
Jafri studied industrial design engineering at the university of Delft and graduated in 1996. Even though he handed over his degree to his dad on the day of his graduation, his work doesn’t forsake the nine years of university study.
Not surprisingly Jafri’s graduation project comprised of a visual language based on perception psychology for over the counter medication.
His work has an almost clinically engineered feel to it without it being cold or soul-less. It is this contrast between unnatural perfection and the fact that his work conveys a strong emotion that makes his work at times haunting but always strangely human.
Jafri’s style has attracted commercial clients like IBM, Coca Cola , Guinness and various international magazines such as Rolling Stone, The Face and Wired, to name but a few. His work for the Guinness Extra Cold Campaign earned him a 2002 D&AD Silver Award for the most outstanding illustration for advertising campaign.
Jafri has exhibited his art in the form of prints, video installations and animations at the 2002 art biennial in Turin, Italy – the Aluminium Art+New Technologies in Baku, Azerbaijan – Seno Guerriero in Bondeno, Italy – Kernel Panic in London, UK and at the Totem Gallery in New York, USA.