Eleven Artists Whose Work Will Take You Back to Childhood

Videographer Julian Klincewicz earned some serious face time recently, with an official video for Gosha Rubchisnkiy and behind-the-scenes at YEEZY Season 3.

As well as his natural gift for photography, what first distinguished him in these artists’ eyes was his determinedly-throwback VHS method of capture, adding a gritty pre-Internet texture to the most modern of popular culture.

Like Klincewicz, there are many artists whose work either references the nostalgia of the ’80s and ’90s or incorporates elements of it; here are some of our favorites.



For their most recent exhibition, FAILE took over a floor of the Brooklyn Museum. Their Deluxx Fluxx Arcade featured pinball machines and one-of-a-kind video games. The black-lit arcade was also decorated with wallpaper referencing pulp comics of the early twentieth century.

Daniel Arsham


Daniel Arsham often explores the significance of our place in history, transforming modern day objects into calcified relics.

Two-thousand-fifteen’s The Future Was Written provided gallery visitors contemporary artifacts made of chalk to create 21st-century “cave markings.”

Picking from astronaut’s helmets, landline telephones, radios, televisions, and more, patrons used bits of the past to speculate on what they think the future may hold.

Freya Jobbins


Freya Jobbins reimagines figures from pop culture, politicians, and more, using clusters of children’s toys. Her creations are an interesting use of bits of the past to represent the here and now.

David Friedman


In the late `90s, Nintendo introduced the Game Boy Camera and Printer. Since the camera only took photos using the device’s four-color palette, in the year 2000, photographer David Friedman began experimenting with it, hoping to figure out a way to hack it and produce color images.

Friedman took to the streets of New York City, later posting the images to his personal blog to give folks a glimpse of the forgotten technology.

Lyle Owerko


Lyle Owerko’s early 2000s photo series of boomboxes from the `70s and `80s, The Boombox Project, was a response to September 11, a way of highlighting man’s productivity and creativity.

Last year, he made his photos three-dimensional, when he collaborated with Pretty in Plastic. The fiberglass-and-resin boomboxes were fashioned in Halt Red, Cobalt Blue, Bone White, and Asphalt Black, chosen to represent earth, water, air, and fire, the four elements of hip-hop.

Called Vox Machina, they are rounded out by a set of one hundred signed and numbered cassette tapes.

Jessica Dance


The textile artist and prop stylist produces knit versions of everyday items, such as a lambswool recreation of an early 2000s Nike x UNDFTD Dunk. Her Vintage Flufftronics series features knitted throwback technology, including a Walkman, old-school Apple, and one of the original “brick” phones.

Dan Farrimond


A throwback to pre-digital television, Teletext was developed in England in the 1970s and quickly spread throughout the world. In its simplest form it displayed subtitles for the hearing impaired, but it also allowed for whole screens of blocky, crudely animated that placed it firmly in the era of ’80s computer art. At one stage, the world’s first “written soap opera”, Park Avenue, was delivered via Teletext.

Teletext has almost ceased to exist, except as a genre of novelty Internet-art, as in the case of Dan Farrimond.

Yoko Honda


Yoko Honda revels in the hallmarks of eighties graphic design, which included a lot of neon, sunsets, palm trees, and fashion-illustrations reflecting the huge and then-relatively recent influence of Andy Warhol.

She is, however, very much a child of 2016, and is sought out by musicians to create this throwback-feeling album cover art, among other things.

Space Invader


No explanation needed.

Ryan McElhinny


When he’s not making quirky furniture and home decor, you might find London-based artist Ryan McElhinny rummaging through heaps of children’s toys, plotting his next masterpiece.

Dolls, action figures, toy cars, and more are repurposed as light fixtures, grandfather clocks, or even life-sized versions of toys—some as large as six feet tall.



Stallio says he’s been messing with files—what we now think of as “glitch art”—since the 1990s. Amongst his body of work is a series based around the infamous “Dancing Baby” from the most 1990s TV show to ever exist, Ally McBeal, which was cutting-edge animation at the time.

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