(Pocket-lint) – Johan Karlgren is an incredible street artist with an eye for creating new views of the world with awesome pieces of pixel art.
This brilliant Swedish artist is essentially using the world as his canvas. Decorating the streets, coastlines and landscapes with handcrafted wonders.
He uses a mix of beads and ingenious imagination to craft incredible little pixel-style visions of some of our favourite cartoon, gaming and TV characters from over the last few decades.
We’ve collated a gallery of our faves for you to enjoy, but be sure to check out his Instagram account and follow him for more.
Remember when the MV Ever Given (Evergreen) got itself stuck in the Suez Canal and caused shipping chaos around the world? Well, like an elephant, the internet never forgets. And neither did Pappasparlor.
The Defender of Grayskull has taken to the streets. We love this one as our favourite pixel artist has managed to find a spot which makes it look like He-Man is calling the power of Grayskull and the lightning has struck nearby.
Everywhere’s a golf course
The great thing about this tiny little pixel creations is a simple change of perspective and the smallest area of the world can seem enormous.
This shot is a perfect example of that as a small strip of grass is turned into a personal golf course
Sonic catching some waves
Even Sonic the Hedgehog needs some downtime. Of course, our nifty little blue friend never slows down though. This shot shows him catching some waves in the middle of the urban jungle.
Luigi in danger
Luigi looks fairly cheerful considering he’s plummeting off the side of the road into the waters below. Totalled automobile will be the least of his problems.
Run! There are some tiny but gruesome-looking zombies loose on the lawn. What are their plans? Let’s not stick around to find out.
Guybrush Threepwood fishing
Guybrush Threepwood is not above a good adventure. The star of the classic Monkey Island series of video games (that originally started in the 1990s) is seen here engaging in a casual spot of fishing.
Why not? Adventuring is pretty exhausting and everyone needs a break now and then.
What awesome pixelated display of classic video game characters would be complete without Mario?
Johan Karlgren, aka Pappas Pärlor, went even further with this one though, by using Mario to recreate the iconic cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind. The old plumber taking the place of the naked baby and the dollar bill being swapped for a mushroom.
Some of this art almost creates itself. A blue overflow drain by the side of the road, quickly and easily transformed into the cookie monster with the addition of some wild eyes, a cookie and a single munching arm.
Alas, the most famous feline to ever grace the web, Tardar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat) passed away in May 2019.
This pixel art recreation of her may well be a fitting tribute to the much-loved pussy.
Mario Kart in real life
We all enjoy a spot of Mario Kart. Imagine if you could race on real beaches and turn the entire world into your race track.
How much fun could you have? These chaps are certainly having a blast.
Simpson’s bartender Mo is rarely the happiest of chappies, but being without his tavern and forced to sell his wares on the street, he looks even more put out.
We love the reimaging of Duff beer in pixel form though, bound to quench the thirst.
It’s great to see the classic Simpson’s meme recreated in wonderful pixel art – Homer Simpson backing carefully through a hedge to avoid the neighbours.
Hulk smash! Even a tiny, tiny version of the green-skinned Marvel superhero packs a serious punch. We always enjoy seeing artists using potholes to create artwork.
There are plenty of different ways these individuals create something cool out of an urban menace. This one might be one of our favourites.
What are the best mirrorless cameras? 1. Sony A1 · 2. Panasonic Lumix GH6 · 3. Sony A7 IV · 4. Olympus PEN E-P7 · 5. Fujifilm X-E4
Arcade-style racing game OutRun came out back in the hazy days of 1986, but it’s still an iconic legend and sports visual that are instantly recognisable.
Pappas Pärlor used his skills to create an awesome homage to the gaming classic with a video that makes it look like he’s racing against the Ferrari in real life.
Mentor and trainer of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sensei Splinter looks pretty impressive in this close up snap of him above ground guarding the entrance to his lair.
It does look like he’s casually dropped a cigarette butt though, we don’t approve of smoking or littering.
It seems like everyone is selfie obsessed these days. This spot of artwork does make us wonder what it might look like if Robocop was real and had his own Instagram account though.
A different kind of ring
It seems that Sonic’s compulsive need to collect golden rings isn’t limited to virtual ones he can catch as he runs through a gaming level.
Crisps and ring-shaped cereal is also fair game.
Mortal Kombat fighting legends Subzero and Skorpion have taken to numerous locations on the mean streets to battle it out and see who will be the victor.
Who will be the first to pull off their finishing move?
Never eat yellow snow
No Yoshi! Bad dinosaur! Don’t eat yellow snow! Everyone knows you shouldn’t eat yellow snow.
Ninja turtles surveying their surroundings
While Sensei Splinter might be standing guard on the harsh streets, the Ninja Turtles are busy looking for the nearest place to grab a slice of pizza.
Guessing by the looks on their faces, we’re not sure they’ve found the right spot.
Vaders day a the beach
Photos from Darth Vader’s holiday snaps show that even one of the greatest screen villains of our time enjoys a little time by the shore.
We’d love to know why he felt the need to take his lightsabre with him though.
Another pothole, another classic piece of artwork. This small section of the urban landscape has been transformed into a much more dangerous place to be.
Jaws strikes again, only this time from the ankle-nipping shallows.
Spiderman just hanging out
Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can. Does he hang from some stairs?
Yes does because he’s Spiderman. A little light and a brilliant location shows off a wonderful vision of Spiderman like we’ve never seen before.
Genie in a bottle
A bottle of beer might not be your classic haunt for a genie, but it is an interesting one.
This vision of Aladdin’s Genie brings back wonderful memories of the humour and acting talent of Robin Williams.
Who ya gonna call?
Slimer is on the loose and the Ghostbusters gang have rocked up to sort him out and clearance the ghostly menace from the streets before he brings any harm to the local motorists.
We love the attention to detail Pappas Pärlor puts into his work. Little touches including the colours of the ghost traps and even Egon Spengler’s spectacles make an appearance.
That pesky dog! Cheeky rascal that he was. Popping up to tease us when we were busy blasting ducks in Nintendo classic Duck Hunt. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing him reimagined for VR in Duck Season and we equally love seeing him recreated in pixel art too.
On the urban streets, Superman has heard the call for help and is shooting off to do his superhero thing. Once again, Pappasparlor has used the surrounding world to add a sense of action to his photos.
Vader’s miserable day out
We like this one because it simply looks like Darth Vader has had a really miserable day while mulling over his life choices.
Here the awesome pixel artist has created Street Fighter’s Dhalsim in an interactive way in the world, where his arms extend and shorten every time the automatic doors open and close.
Johan Karlgren regularly creates interesting works like this where the artwork moves with the world around it. Have a look here to see it in action.
Writing by Adrian Willings.