If you navigate to the '' section of LA-based artist and rapper Yung Jake's website, you'll be met be a simple pop-up reading, "we make stuff you wish you thought of."
"We" is Yung Jake, born Jake Patterson, and his creative partner Vince McElvie. The website's claim, while true, is undercut by the simple fact that, even though we might wish we thought of it, no one else could execute it half as well.
Yung Jake specializes in digital art. Most famously, he creates hyper-realistic, pointillistic portraits, generated entirely from emojis. His medium for these portraits is , an app released by his company and developed by McElvie. The portraits are exceptional: sensitive, detailed, and deeply symbolic works.
Now, fans of the artist's work have a chance to see a selection of these faces, rendered in emoji, at NYC's in partnership with . A new show of Yung Jake's work will feature portraits of stars like Willow Smith, Leonardo Dicaprio, Gigi Hadid, and Lil Uzi Vert. The show opened November 1st, 2017, and will run through February 2018.
The buzzed-about portraits are typically faces we all recognize, like Rihanna or Larry David. In an interview with , Yung Jake explains that this was a conscious move, noting, "The most popular ones are usually the most popular people."
To puzzle over the emoji constructions yourself, check out more of his work on and below, and stop by the exhibit.
, November 2017 - February 2018