It’s difficult not to get pulled into the illustrations of artist Al Margen and find yourself contemplating the flaws of modern society. If good art is supposed to make one think and a little uncomfortable, then the black and white drawings of the Argentina-based artist do just that.
Margen’s drawings often focus on society’s 21st-century ills and the grip that technology has on us. The topics touched upon by Margen vary from greed to consumerism and social media narcissism.
While the subject matter depicted in Margen’s often bleak drawings with gaunt-looking characters might be interpreted as an outward look at society, that’s not entirely the case.
“The ideas for my drawings come from what I see around me,” the artist said in a recent interview. “I also draw about things that happen to me. Many times they criticize me saying that I believe myself to be ‘superior’ for pointing out the mistakes of others. What they do not know is that some of my drawings are autobiographical, a self-criticism.”
Some of Margen’s illustrations are more straightforward in their message than others, but there’s a message to be found in each of them. Margen admittedly doesn’t see his artwork as an engine to spur society to change, but a reflection of the present and an unsure future.
“The human being evolves and regresses constantly throughout history. What I do see in the present is that we are becoming slaves to connectivity. We have a hard time going without reading notifications or emails,” he said.
What do you think about the illustrations of Al Margen? Do you think they accurately reflect the problems facing our modern society? Study the illustrations and ask yourself if any of them represent you in any sort of way. The answer might not be one you’re comfortable with, but that’s exactly where change can begin.
To learn more about the art of Al Margen, check out his Facebook page.