Simone Klimmeck’s Painterly, Realistic Illustrations Are Our Latest Obsession

The German illustrator spins expressionist techniques into a contemporary depiction of pop culture.

Creeping around the internet has many benefits. You can waste a solid 30 minutes looking at calming manatee memes; you can dive deep into a black hole of people inspiring you to do unspeakable things to avocados (avocado cheesecake? keep talking, baby); or you can stumble upon art that’s actually decent and you genuinely enjoy looking at! The latter has taken place for us in the form of Simone Klimmeck: a German illustrator and tattoo artist whose expressionist-influenced illustrations and collages pop with colour and pop culture references.

Klimmeck depicts people. Sometimes, these people are Celebs with a capital C, like Lana del Ray—and other times, they’re just regular women or people who look vaguely political. All of them communicate a stoic and impersonal air, as if they’re posing for their official portrait; this works all the better to highlight Klimmeck’s painterly approach. Thick brushstrokes blend together roughly to create hollowed eyes, defined wrinkles, exaggerated muscles; big splashes of colour harken back to pop art, but also the heyday of German expressionism and its intense colours. Her portraits are classically painterly and realistic—but if that isn’t your thing, her collages see Klimmeck taking a different approach. In contrast to her painterly brushwork in the portraits, her collages are composed of clean lines and beautiful faces, carefully dancing together against pastel colours and feminine poses. They feel a lot lighter and more fashionable than her portraits, which works to emphasize her breadth as an artist.

So break away from whatever Buzzfeed quiz you’re about to do and take a look at Simone Klimmeck’s work. Remember, art is good for you!