Exploring the Eccentric Fan Art of Grimes
“B-E-H-A-V-E / arrest us!”
“I frickin’ love Grimes. She had dropped an album, Art Angels, which is amazing, and I was listening to ‘Kill V. Maim,’” says the D.C.-area native, artist and current Fashion Institute of Technology student. Hours later, Thaddeus put the finishing touches on a piece that featured the Canadian singer/songwriter/producer staring off into the abyss with a miniature crown hovering above her head. “I came up with this super cheery pop vibe but also something that made it eccentric,” adds Thaddeus. “Grimes’ aesthetic is always so gender fluid and so cohesive with her sound. So when I was coming up with the colors, I wanted to pick ones that weren’t necessarily feminine or masculine — they could just sort of be in between.”
Thaddeus is one of the many illustrators who contribute to fan art inspired by Grimes that bubbles up in hashtags, artist accounts and even 28-year-old Grime’s own Instagram feed on a daily basis. Like the singer’s own work, the pieces often play into an exploration of experimental colors and shapes. See: the shiny, gold, cat-influenced piece that New York-based artist Siyi Chen (@siyiart) drew (and Grimes later posted to her own feed) after seeing the surrealist music video for the track “Flesh Without Blood.” “I really liked the music video,” says Siyi. “It was really cool and really artsy. It’s just different from other videos. I know she created it by herself, so that was really impressive.”
For Grimes, those compliments are a two-way street. The singer tells Instagram that she’s consistently smitten by the art her fans tag her in.
“I just want to thank them for the incredible art!” says Grimes, in a message to her fans. “It’s always a wonderful surprise to come across it, and I find myself constantly impressed. I often see fan art that makes me want to improve as an illustrator, and I relish the opportunity to engage in this artistic dialogue with y’all, so thank u ^_^.”
And that, as Thaddeus explains, is why Grimes is such a draw to listeners.
“I love Grimes because she takes the time to show her supporters love,” he says. “She is always posting fan art on her account. It gives so much exposure to not only her but the artist as well.”