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Vaporwave (80s/90s design trash becomes art)

Vaporwave is an artform that I’ve been fascinated with since I found it what it is. If you scroll through my Tumblr, it’s vaporwave post after vaporwave post. But what is vaporwave? (Besides for a musical meme, of course.) Vaporwave was originally a commentary on the consumer culture of the 80s and 90s with some Japanese and Roman aesthetic thrown in. Think malls of the 80s. A proper vaporwave artwork will incorporate anything from the following list: Roman statues, Fiji water bottles, bright colors, tropical trees, plants in general, sunsets, terrible 90s website graphics, arcades, skulls, 2000s Powerpoint clipart and text, Japanese scenery, anime, and poorly translated Japanese or Arabic text. This mashup of ideas sounds like it would make for some awful design and it does. But that’s the thing, vaporwave art is so terribly done that it’s become cool and chic. It’s an aesthetic all it’s own, entirely born from the Internet, reminiscing about an age before the “Internet”. And almost anything can become vaporwave if done correctly. Recent popular posts I’ve seen have incorporated the Nike logo, the television show Steven Universe, and those zig-zag arcade rugs from the 90s. I enjoy making vaporwave artwork myself because it gives me a chance to be a terrible 90s designer – just for fun. Vaporwave is dead, long live vaporwave.

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