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9Oct/091

Paul Robertson Retrospective

Here is a Cadbury commercial. Yes, Cadbury the chocolate people. By the end of this article (if you manage to make it all the way through) you will be aghast that it exists.

Now, let's go to hell.

I hate to call Paul Robertson a pixel artist. It just doesn't seem right. The man is an artist, period. Certainly, he works in the realm of pixels: his video projects resemble 16-bit era video games, albeit if they were conceived by a Japanese Jeffrey Dahmer. Make no mistake, no matter what your sentiments toward sex and violence are, Paul Robertson will, at the least, try his gosh darn hardest to offend the ever-loving shit out of you. Unless noted, everything following is obscene, violent and very, very NSFW (not safe for work). Giant-monster-shooting-fetuses NSFW. Pope-girls-ejaculating-rainbows NSFW. Very little of his stuff can be appreciated by anyone not already inured by guro, Cannibal Corpse album covers, any other source of baroque violence without getting a bit pale.

The indie-inclined of you might already be familiar Paul Robertson. He directed the absolutely adorable videdo for Architecture in Helsinki's Do the Whirlwind.

The video features most of his artistic trademarks (except, of course, the obscene violence.) There's electronic-y music, pixel art in smooth motion, a jawdropping amount of intricate detail in every nook and cranny, and character design straddling the fence between absolutely adorable and “what the hell is that thing?” Here's two more relatively “safe” video for Jeremy Dower's The Magic Touch and Qua's Devil Eyes, respectively. Qua is the music project-name used by his music collaborator Cornel Wilczek.The second video features some blood.

Okay, are we ready to venture out into the big, bad, world of the unbridled Paul Robertson? Good. Let's start off light. This is black and white and not pixel art, but shows off his incredible skill in both the expressions of characters and depiction of violence. Appropriately enough, it is called “Bloodbath Overkill” and stars a number of characters from the Super Mario Bros. World.

Wasn't that fun? Even here you can see how devoted he is to smooth animation. In the pixel art-based pieces, this becomes even more important. He presents us with the games we wish (well, some of the more maladjusted of us) we were playing on our Super Nintendoes and Sega Genesii.

In 2006, Mr. Robertson submitted a short film to Melbourne's Next Wave young artist multimedia arts festival. The piece was called, in loving reference to convolutedly translated Japanese video game titles, Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006. The plot of the video should be recognizable to anyone who has so much as seen a side-scrolling beat-'em-up game: rescue the girl from the bad guy. Except the bad guy is, as the title indicates, a pirate baby. Along the way they destroy squid, zombie babies freshly emerging from the womb and just so many other monstrosities, utilizing super abilities that include Walter from The Big Lebowski (he enters the bad guys into a world of pain.) Here it is in two sections, in YouTube-brand high quality. Due to the nature of pixel art, compression really kills the beauty so if it loads slow, let it. The non-HQ ones take almost everything away.

Part 1 of 2:

Part 2 of 2:

Finally, here is his latest and greatest work. In glorious full-color I present Paul Robertson's Kings of Power 4 billion %. Melding his entire gamut of style with a ADD-ridden production, more pop-culture and video game references than I can name (or even recognize), this is, so far, the absolute apex of the man's abilities. Of particular note is Part 2's cruficix of rotating pop culture characters at around 1:25. I definitely caught caught Ash (from Pokemon,) Alf, Bomberman and George Washington in there. I really need to stop describing it at this point. If you actually enjoyed everything so far, you'll probably love this as much as I do.

Part 1 of 2:

Part 2 of 2:

AVI download link (via MegaUpload):
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=RQCUZUIU

See how absurd that Cadbury ad is now? Yeah, yeah you do.

If you haven't had enough:

  • His LiveJournal where he posts animations for his works in progress and his single-image works.
  • His blog on the MechaFetus art collective website. (There is a lot of cross-over with the LiveJournal content.)
  • His Pixiv (Japanese DeviantArt-type site.)
  • Frequent music collaborator Cornel Wilczek's site.

   

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