Israeli illustrator and designer Amit Shimoni introduced his art collection titled “Hipstory” on Wednesday, March 9 at the Charles B. Wang Center. The event was organized by Stony Brook Hillel and was open to all during campus lifetime.
Tal Mansur, an Israel Fellow at Stony Brook Hillel, was responsible for setting up the event but could not be reached by the time of this article’s publication.
Shimoni shared his art collection with those in attendance, and it was a big hit among students.
“I think it’s really funny and takes something that’s often really serious and tones it down a lot,” said Julia Martinez, senior linguistics major and the president of Stony Brook Hillel.
“Tal told us about the artist,” Martinez added. “He wanted to bring him here so we could have an interesting experience about someone who’s Israeli and their art”.
Shimoni’s art features politicians from around the world drawn to look like hipsters. The modern take on history first started when Shimoni was a student at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, Israel.
The trendily dressed artist gave a presentation at the event in his heavy Israeli accent, explaining how he came to create “Hipstory.”
While working on a previous art project, Shimoni realized it wasn’t working out and decided to give up on the project, a moment he referred to as being “very frustrating.”
After viewing an image of a bearded hipster who reminded him of a famous figure, he decided to create one of his first hipster figures and posted it onto his Facebook page, using Photoshop to create the image.
The feedback he received on the image was positive, and it spurred him to create more hipster historical figures, thus beginning his “Hipstory” project.
According to Shimoni, he was wary about using the hipster figures for his final art project because he believed them to be “too popular to be considered art”. In other words, he did not believe it to be satisfactory for academic work.
Still, Shimoni liked the idea and went further with his art to create his final project, which was made up of twelve presentations in total. What started out as depictions of Israeli founding fathers grew to include other leaders from around the world.
Cassandra Clark, a freshman undecided major in the Hillel group, attended the event.
“I really liked the bright colors and the technique,” Clark said.
Shimoni’s pieces include hipster versions of famous figures such as Hillary Clinton, Albert Einstein, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Mahatma Ghandi and plenty more.
Shimoni describes his creative process as a “game of Ping-Pong with reality,” in which he uses everyday thoughts and feelings that he captures in his life and brings them back into the world.
“Hipstory wishes to reimagine the great leaders of modern history and to place them in a different time and culture — ours,” Shimoni said.
As for the future, Shimoni is working on a few projects, one of which includes designs for HERCULES, an animal rights organization.
Shimoni’s art can be bought online through his website, where he sells coasters, wall prints, and postcards, all featuring hipster versions of famous figures.
Correction: March 22, 2016
A previous version of this article misspelled the last name of the author of the piece.