Street Artist’s Incredible 8-Bit Artwork Adds A Pop Of Culture To Everyday Life.

Johan Karlgren art

Video game graphics have come a long way since they first hit our screens!

Back in the 1980s, we were ecstatic to have video games at all, so we overlooked the grainy, pixelated 8-bit graphics on games like “Super Mario Brothers” or “Legend of Zelda.” These days, those 8-bit characters give us a nostalgic glimpse back to where gaming all began.

Swedish artist Johan Karlgren, also known by his online name Pappas Pärlor, has been inserting 8-bit characters from pop culture into everyday scenes since 2014. He uses Perler beads, which many people might remember from childhood crafting, to create the figures. He then hits the streets to insert them into mundane settings, adding a bit of magic to even the dullest scenery.

1. Perler beads are placed on a grid to form a picture. Johan then uses a regular household iron to melt the beads to get the image just right.

2. He loves to use iconic images from comics, cartoons, video games, and movies,

3. The artist said he finds inspiration in “Anything that makes me feel something. It could be anything from childhood memories to politics or people doing awesome stuff that I wanna interpret.”

4. “I don’t really choose what to create. My work is sprung from playing, and I’ll try to go with the ideas that come up in my head.”

5. “It’s something that makes me happy, and hopefully other people [when] seeing it as well,” he said.

6. When it comes to decorating public spaces, Johan thinks it’s easier to apologize later than to ask permission first.

7. But most property owners have been open to beautifying their drab spaces with his work.

8. Johan is a father of four kids, so he still feels plugged in to the modern world of culture and entertainment.

9. Yet many of his creations feature characters only Gen-Xers will fully appreciate.

10. The artwork ranges in size from super tiny, like these tennis players, to super huge, like parking lot barrier huge.

11. He’s also been experimenting with 3-D painting work.

12. How surprised would you be to see this “Jaws” sculpture sprouting from a pothole?

13. Or this incarcerated alien?

14. In recent months, the artist has been sharing more videos about how he makes his work.

15. He makes it look easy, doesn’t he?

This is such a fun and unexpected way to bring a pop of fun and color to bleak areas!

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