Health Guru-Popeye - Szabotage

The artist’s Life Got Real collection is a play on the opinion that some iconic cartoon characters and storylines haven’t aged well, with many including outdated cultural depictions. Szabotage poses the question: What would happen if the characters themselves aged disgracefully and gave in to the depraved or humorous side of today’s society? Famous animated characters are known for their wholesome images, inspirational heroes, and life lessons. We all have our own memories of watching the magical world of Disney with its stereotypes and cliches. However, to modern eyes, the classic characters can seem painfully retrograde. 

Since having children, Szabotage has been reintroduced to these popular cultural institutions and is seeing them in a new light, questioning their idealised images and how they portray some problematic ideas about some crucial issues. 

“I’ve been inspired by the idea of re-envisioning these characters that we all know and love, in a way that I would imagine them to look and behave today – a tongue-in-cheek version of beloved classics,” Szabotage says. The art reveals a witty mix of past and present and introduces a fun and humorous representation of these romanticised and unrealistic illustrations. The finished product is a mix of thought-provoking personalities, broadening the spectrum of what an animated character should look like and how they might behave. 

In this artwork, a plant-based wellness guru features a man bun and sarong, having quit pipe smoking and focused on health kicks.

  • Size: 35.4 x 23.6 in.
  • Style: Street art, stencils, pop art
  • Frame: Black

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Gustav Szabo is a prolific, contemporary urban artist and designer known as Szabotage. He grew up in Hove, a town near Brighton in the UK, where he studied architecture before moving to London where he worked as an architect and designer. After moving to Hong Kong he quickly gained notoriety with sold-out exhibitions, solo shows, collaborative projects, private and commercial commissions with iconic brands such as Prada and Louis Vuitton.


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