Perhaps, it’s time for Pharrell to move over as there’s a new rap star crossing over into the art world. Yung Jake draw our attention to his transcendental web art by means of emoji-crafted portraits.

Yung Jake (born Jake Patterson), well-known Los Angeles-based visual artist (the 2012 CalArts alum) and rapper was established on the Internet in 2011 and now he is considered to be a pioneer when it comes to Post-Internet web art. In other words, his creative activity covers interviews via text messages, portraits of celebrities made of emojis, installations of digital monitors and metal sculptures with images from the Internet, unusual music videos and others. He first made waves with an interactive music video “” that, according to LA Weekly, “satirizes viral culture while simultaneously sucking up to every relevant art blog and Internet presence [around]”.

For objective reasons, Yung Jake’s most recognizable project has been his emoji portrait series of famous people, created with the app made by his partner Vince McKelvie. Firstly, people love seeing portraits of their favorite celebrities, especially, when these works are made in a painstaking way: the artist transforms music notes into Kim K’s hair, envelopes into Wiz Khalifa’s teeth, uses the angry face to contour Rihanna’s cheeks and etc. The results of his work are WOW-forthy as they are impressive, colorful and well-made. Moreover, this project was featured in media resources such as Vice, Time Magazine and Rolling Stone.

As the artist himself says, his portraits are not as deep as his other stuff he made, he just found himself to be good at it.



Jakes’s “Hydration” exhibition at the Steve Turner gallery in Los Angeles happened to be a combination of a music, branding, visual arts and social media. The opening became a rowdy performance as the artist was chronicling it on Snapchat and pouring vodka all over the walls with his works at the end of the event. The exhibition consisted of glossy UV prints, furniture with brand logos, nostalgic cartoon characters and other stuff like stickers, spray paint, water bottles on steel panels and etc.

 “I like [to] use famous and popular things in my work because it gives people something to relate to,” Jake says. “course I have a personal relationship with sonic [the Hedgehog] or friends [the TV show] but it’s obviously not the same as someone else’s. i think with art u create your own story as to why the artist did what they did but u don’t have to be right in order for the work to be good”.

Works of Yung Jake draw attention of people as pieces of Digital Culture. The artist says that his art is both made in response and as a result of our culture, which is obsessed with social networks and brands. His videos, paintings, emoji portraits, sculptures and everything that he creates, make us think about how digital art and social media change our perception of reality.  A unique style of Yung Jake’s works and all the appreciation he receives demonstrates that the art is limitless in its expression so all art pieces and all types of artists can be breathtaking.

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