Kozyndan

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Technicolor bunnies descend en masse onto a New York intersection, overgrown beasts and giant robots wreak havoc on downtown dwellers and happy-faced flying SARS blobs swarm over a Chinatown shopping arcade. Strangely enough, the topsy-turviness seems to slip past this world's denizens, who stroll around like it's an easy Sunday morning. Such is the chaos that emerges from the illustrative imaginings of L.A. based husband and wife team Dan and Kozy Kitchens, who professionally work as Kozyndan, a moniker that plays off their first names. Admittedly, silliness for silliness' sake is an undeniable inspiration for their whimsically offbeat, detail-rich work. However, "I think we have a pretty bleak outlook on the state of things in the U.S. these days, so we have to say something about it," explains Dan. "It sounds strange to say that illustrations of cute bunnies and businessmen dressed as schoolgirls come out of our distaste for the current administration, but that's been our reaction."

"We call our art 'stupid,' adds other half Kozy. "It mostly comes from a sense that the modern world is utterly insane, all turned upside down. So our art is usually about taking regular places and just inserting things we would like to see there, things that don't belong." They themselves seem to feel they don't belong- "We're both kind of social retards," says Dan-but their work has been embraced hungrily by the underground L.A. art scene as well as some not so shabby clientele. Their breakout came with an album cover for Weezer, after which they went on to illustrate for Official U.S. Playstation magazine and chromatography company Metrohm-Peak (from which this month's cover art was taken), as well artwork for R/GA on Nikelab.com. More recently, they concepted characters with the design/animation gurus at Motion Theory for new spots for Pino ice cream out of Hakuhodo/Tokyo, and soon, a Kozyndan-imagined City of Angels will appear in an upcoming title from video game guru American McGee of Alice fame (see p. 58). For the layman, it's insane to imagine how Kozyndan's ambitious illustrations are the work of just two people-blow up any portion of their signature panoramics and it's like discovering a whole new micro-universe. Fortunately, creating their art is something like being able to finish each other's sentences. "We come up with ideas together," says Dan. "Some pieces are done mostly by me with help from Kozy, or vice versa. It's a very fluid process that comes out of the fact that we are always together and just know each other innately."

8www.kozyndan.com

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