It's becoming increasingly more and more obvious to me that I might be slightly addicted to this 'textured' cut-out aesthetic when it comes to illustration. While it is quite popular at the moment, some illustrators can pull it off and some can't. The difference between the former and the latter? The former inject emotion and truth into it. Keith Negley does this in spades in the various works above, I find these images quiet and compelling despite their simplicity.
Washes of pastel colour, pale silouhettes, visible brushstrokes and topsy-turvy scale all give these compositions the X factor. My personal favorite is the third image from the top which was made for The New York Times' book review on Ben Dolnick's At the Bottom of Everything. The book is based around two childhood friends and a secret that they share. While Negley's image is full of energy and crazy colour-blocked objects a pensive atmosphere to suit the storyline emanates from the illustration. It also reminds me of Picasso's Blue Paintings, sharing that same heaviness and solidity.
Negley describes himself as having 'a penchant for emotionally driven illustration' and states that 'the most personal things about you are usually the most universal.' I like this idea and I can see that he injects himself into each piece, despite the variety of clients he works for. Check out his site and his impressive resume here, the above images are only a small drop in a very big and impressive illustrative Negley pond. Enjoy.