Yield to Temptation by Todd James
New York–based artist Todd James (b. 1969) pioneered a distinct cartoon-based graffiti style in New York in the 1980s, working under the name REAS and gaining the respect of both a street-culture audience and the art and design community. He has since produced work for the Beastie Boys, Eminem and Iggy Pop, among others.
Yield to Temptation is of a piece with James’ broader concerns: American excess as represented by the forms and fictions of sexuality and the ravages of war. James invites his audience to glamorize these issues, even as he undercuts any assumptions about them. His drawings have the expressive, minimal intensity of a cartoon Franz Kline and evoke the Day-Glo era of 1970s print culture, where Schoolhouse Rock crosses over into Playboy cartoons.