Have you ever watched a cartoon and wondered what these amalgamations of rudimentary shapes would look like if they existed in real life? Ever pondered what unholy anatomies would need to take shape in order to resemble the familiar figures of your Saturday morning favorites? How much flesh would one need to stretch over that distorted skeleton in order to remain true to the spirit of what was only ever intended to be a 2D drawing? Starting to regret even asking? Well it is too late to go back because whether you like it or not, artist Miguel Vasquez has the answer to this age old question.
Vasquez recently revealed his take on what he imagines the duo from the classic Nickelodeon cartoon, Hey Arnold!, would look like if the show was perhaps a little more realistic. The results are (intentionally) horrifying. With bloodshot eyes bugging out of Arnold and Gerald's respective heads and tight-lipped ghoulish smiles that give off big Momo energy, all wrapped up in textures that are a little too vivid for comfort, it all comes together to make a frightful rendering that's sure to haunt your nightmares for months to come.
The Hey Arnold! creatures are not Vasquez's first foray into creating brutally life-like versions of once beloved cartoons. You may have caught the artist's gritty versions of Spongebob and Patrick or even Homer Simpson floating around in the dark corners of the Internet in recent years.
Vasquez's work thrives on the intersection of '90s-kid nostalgia and sheer body horror, colliding together in a way that shocks as much as it intrigues. Vasquez's work ultimately asks the proverbial question, "Has science gone too far?" with the answer always being a resounding, "Yes, now please put it away." And when asked if he feels sorry for all the people who have been emotionally scarred by his work, Vasquez only says "I've said it before and I'll say it again... that was the plan all along."