Stanley Chow's Illustrations Are Bringing Retro Back.
Words: Tyreece Asamoah
Stanley Chow’s work is both retro and unique. The cartoonist and illustrator has contrived a double decade career out of minimalist portraits that have been seen all over the world.
A Manchester native he was, by nature, a Manchester United fan and he started illustrating some of his favourite players in a style inspired by old school Panini cards. Growing up in a chip shop without many toys, Stanley relied on a trusty biro and chip shop paper to get him through the long evenings. In conversation with the BBC in 2014 Chow admits that as a "nipper" all he did was draw and draw and draw.
Stanley decided to pursue art professionally, inspired by sixth form art teacher and attending the Swindon College of Art. His inspirations have been known to span across the creative mediums, finding brilliance in the poetry of John Cooper-Clarke and the films of David Lynch.
He has shown time and again his ability to evoke cultural icons in his own minimalist way. From deftly portraying Bruce Willis through a silhouette alone to being able to capture Eric Catona's swagger through geometry, Stanley Chow works with this artistic ethos; he uses it to present people and concepts in a straightforward, yet novel, manner.
It’s Stanley’s distinctive and colourful 'minimum effort, maximum impact' style of illustrating which makes his work so appealing. He has been commissioned by Saatchi and Saatchi and The New Yorker, which he considered “the Holy grail” when he was a student. His artwork has also been nominated for a Grammy award. In a world of increasing of increasing complexity and woes, the fact that our most beloved figures can come to life through simple lines speaks of ingenuity. It speaks to something bright within the human condition and adds a little wonder to the world.