Too few artists today have the courage to tackle important social commentaries with their art. But Spanish artist Luis Quiles has undoubtedly broken this mould with his series of illustrations that depict some relevant and unfortunate realities of our world today.
Through his art, Quiles challenges a wide range of controversial issues ranging from over-the-counter drug addiction, censorship, and corruption to sexism, violence, child abuse, and, perhaps most pertinent of all, our culture’s social media obsession.
There is something raw and hauntingly telling about the commentaries being expressed through each illustration, perhaps in part because they resonate with such truth. Many of them are difficult to look at, but all of them stand as accurate representations of some of the issues that plague our world today.
Take your time with this one to enjoy these fantastic pieces of art! And lastly, viewer discretion is advised.
*Edit: Art is open to subjective interpretation, and these are just my interpretations of Quiles’s art. Feel free to share your take on the illustrations in the comment section below!
The force-feeding of cheap food to the docile and lethargic public.
With the cost of living continuing to rise at a rapid pace, and in an economy which, especially in the U.S., is pushing more and more people into the lower socio-economic bracket, many families and students are basically being force-fed fast and cheap food as their only financial option. Proper nutrition keeps us running at our optimal cognitive and energetic capacities, while a lack of nutrition keeps a nation lethargic and docile.
The censorship of free thought and the consequences of voicing our opinion.
In a nation describing itself as “free,” it’s interesting to note how many laws, regulations, and fear programs exist that limit our choices and thoughts. One can get locked away simply for defying their government’s belief systems. I’m curious how long people will continue to let this censorship take place.
How female sexuality is used to divert the attention of a hormone-driven population of men.
It’s rampant throughout all forms of media today: hyper-sexualized images of women, used to stimulate a testosterone-driven population of men. Not only is this prevalent in the media, but in various aspects of our culture as a whole.
For example, many restaurants or lounges force girls to wear short skirts, heels, and even revealing tops, all to appeal to a specific audience. Female pop stars and celebrities are also often exploited sexually in the mainstream media, marking just another example of the dominating male influences at the top of the ladder.
Generation Notification: the social media crazed population.
Social media has undoubtedly changed our way of connecting with one another, but whether or not this has been for the better is debatable by many. Today we see a high percentage of youth and adults literally addicted to their phones, iPads, or laptops. It’s almost beginning to move towards the physical merging of technology and man, where the line between social media reality and the everyday reality is no longer distinct.
There are now multiple social media platforms available for people to get lost in, many of which are great at wasting our time as we aimlessly scroll through a never-ending newsfeed. How will this relationship with social media continue to grow in the coming years? I’m afraid to find out…
The innocent casualties of unnecessary war.
How anyone could continue to harm completely innocent civilians is something I will never understand. Children growing up around the devastation of war are often subject to the by-product of war arms, i.e., radiation and firearm-induced amputation. Whether one supports the “war on terror” or not, one simply cannot argue the absurdity of killing innocent children in the name of defending one’s own country.
The absolute power money holds over the people.
With the way the system is currently set up, it’s almost as if people are intentionally pit against one another like a giant game of survival of the fittest. As the famous line states, “The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.” Practically every industry today is fueled by financial gain. People are willing to step on whomever they need to in the name of money.
Most unfortunate of all, we see financial interests literally wiping out the planet, destroying ecosystems and wildlife at an unsustainable pace. How did a fabricated value system come to be more important than the health of our planet? Will mankind wake up to its own insanity before it’s too late?
How professional athletes are used as products.
How pharmaceuticals are turning a population into zombies and killing us at a frightening pace.
A Los Angeles Times analysis of 2009 death statistics showed:
- For the first time ever in the U.S., more people were killed by drugs than motor vehicle accidents
- 37,485 people died from drugs, a rate fueled by overdoses on prescription pain and anxiety medications, versus 36,284 from traffic accidents
- Drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults between 2000 and 2008, and more than tripled among people aged 50 to 69
These facts summarize legal prescription drug statistics. An estimated 450,000 preventable medication-related adverse events occur in the U.S. every year. The cost of adverse drug reactions to society is more than $136 billion annually — greater than the total cost of cardiovascular or diabetic care. Looking over records from 1976 to 2006, researchers found 62 million death certificates related to prescription drugs, and almost a quarter-million of these deaths were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors. How is this considered normal?
These pictures do a fantastic job of highlighting many widely-accepted yet absurd facets of our world today. It’s safe to say that Luis Quiles is a brave, artistic genius. To see more of his work, check out his webpage here.
What do you think about Quiles’s illustrations? Share with us below!