In his latest series, entitled “Random Robot Attacks,” Chicago-based artist CJ Hungerman explores the relationship between war and the erotic.
While love and war may not seem like they have much in common, in fact they are united in one very significant way: they represent the push and pull between basic biological urges and the social and cultural rules that constrain human behavior. In order to explore these themes, Hungerman creates complex visual narratives using cartoon-like imagery. He sticks to pretty silly subject matter, stuff like nipples, condoms, spaceships, and robots. The childishness of these objects is juxtaposed against the seriousness of the artwork’s themes. But it is this very juxtaposition that allows the artist to communicate his message so clearly and powerfully. The simple images are characters we can all relate to—they remind us that we all have innate biological traits, traits that are held in check by socially constructed expectations. By using robots as a metaphor for the human condition, Hungerman is able to create a way for the viewer to analyze important issues (like politics and freedom) from an objective point of view.
Hungerman’s style is abstract and incorporates components of graphic design and graffiti. He layers his images to create intricate, chaotic compositions. They are painted on canvases that can be as long as eight feet.