The world, especially in the crazy year of 2020, never fails to leave room for social criticism—it's like you don't even have to try hard to find things you can ironically poke at. Italian artist Elia Colombo, known to social media as "gebelia," transfers the flaws of our modern society to conceptual illustrations. They are uncomfortable, thought-provoking, and with a good dose of irony and humor.

Colombo has been preparing more food for thought since our last post about his artwork, so we hope that your mind is hungry.

More info: Instagram | behance.net | gebe.it | twitter.com | patreon.com

#1

Imagination Training

Imagination Training

gebelia Report

Pearl Of the SeaWing RainWings
Community Member
11 months ago

I LOVE THIS ONE. SO MUCH. I WANT A BED LIKE THIS

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The artist, who started as a pizza boy and now is a professional and well-known independent designer and illustrator, describes himself as "a humble disinfluencer comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable." And there is quite a mass to disturb—Colombo's Instagram is followed by 130k followers who come back for creatively expressed commentary on the social media craze, media, mental health issues, relationships, environmental problems, and more.

"My favorite poet said humans deviate from the truth every time they try to judge with certainty. Things are not what they seem: we just wallow in an ocean of illusions and I'd like to share a different point of view on this ocean," the artist told Bored Panda.

#2

Behind The Scenes

Behind The Scenes

gebelia Report

Why?
Community Member
11 months ago

This one is edgy and to the point.

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#3

Choose Your Life

Choose Your Life

gebelia Report

AlfalfaCow
Community Member
11 months ago

Asian parents be like

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Colombo started drawing when he was a child and hasn't stopped ever since. "Today, I invest way less time in "'drawing' and way more in 'designing.' I can’t tell how it became a career: the truth is that I never planned it. I like to believe it’s just a matter of destiny,"

He describes his art style as "light-heartedly disenchanted with a touch of cheerful sadness. Also natural, cause I never chose it: it just came out naturally."

#4

Equality

Equality

gebelia Report

Jayden Penzien
Community Member
11 months ago

Unfair as a woman myself

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#5

New Social Media

New Social Media

gebelia Report

Jayden Penzien
Community Member
11 months ago

Ya this is so true

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"I like to face various topics, but they all have something in common, the same soul. Let’s say the subject I prefer to depict is the sleepy consciousness in all of its glorious manifestations: prejudice, blind belief, fear, common sense, institutional wisdom, education, mass information, and so on. Practically everything that protects us from the pitfalls of self-awareness and critical thinking."

#6

Zombie

Zombie

gebelia Report

Orange
Community Member
11 months ago

LMFAO

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#7

The Machine

The Machine

gebelia Report

Ivette
Community Member
11 months ago

2040 be like

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On his website, Elia Colombo says, "Don't try to be good, just try to be different." The artist definitely applies this approach to his artwork and pokes fun at everything that's wrong with today's society in his own distinctive style. No sugar-coating. Illustrations seem beautifully done and vivid, but almost each of them has a metaphorical meaning and carries an important message that sometimes takes a minute to wrap your head around. You might love or hate the criticism, irony, and edginess of the artwork, but in the end, they are all relatable and speak about the world we currently live in.

#8

Sellers

Sellers

gebelia Report

(っ◔◡◔)っ im a domestic weeb
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

me when im trying to buy food at mcdonals online

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#9

Standardized Dreams

Standardized Dreams

gebelia Report

ShikamaruPanda
Community Member
11 months ago

*swimming in free cash*

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We asked Colombo what inspires him.

"Nothing and everything at the same time. Inspiration has nothing to do with things, it all depends on your own perception, so literally, any perceived thing can be inspiring, no matter what, when, where, and how. Widening your mind definitely helps getting inspired. Some say it's all about curiosity, to me it's a matter of meditation."

He said he's also influenced by so many people "both aesthetically and mentally" that he couldn't make a list, but he occasionally mentions inspiring names in his posts' captions.

#10

Integration

Integration

gebelia Report

Jayden Penzien
Community Member
11 months ago

This IS REAL PEOPLE

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#11

Technological Sublimation

Technological Sublimation

gebelia Report

Why?
Community Member
11 months ago

The Love Motel has parking in rear.

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One of the recurring topics in Colombo's illustrations is the downside of the digital age and social media obsession. The artist portrays the ways social media shapes our lives, habits, and our perception of the world in general. The impact of social media on modern people is tremendous. According to J. Clement's report, there are 4.14 billion active social media users as of July 2020, encompassing 49% of the global population, with Facebook being the leading social network. These numbers are only growing and affecting us as a society. In one of his Instagram posts about the reality of social media, Colombo commented: "What makes us human is not the ability to love but the amount of likes we get, not our heart but our social engagement data."

#12

The Match

The Match

gebelia Report

Why?
Community Member
11 months ago

Now swipe right!

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#13

gebelia Report

A Dumbo Octopus
Community Member
11 months ago

This is the only one that seems genuinely meaningful in anyway. The rest just seem like "oh this is so deep" posts

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Ironically, Colombo gained a significant internet presence by critiquing social media.

"Well, Pink Floyd went rich and famous on criticizing the show business which they were trapped into, so, at least, I’m not the first working that way. Besides jokes, actually, social media is just one of the various society’s faces I comment on. Moreover, what I really criticize is not the social media tool, but the usage lot of people make of it."

#14

New Social Media

New Social Media

gebelia Report

Baby Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

I read...words are my drugs and i am hopelessly addicted

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#15

Superficial Lives

Superficial Lives

gebelia Report

N G
Community Member
11 months ago

She picks out her cereal and vegetables before her personality. Oh.

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When we asked the artist why does he think people follow him, he said: "I honestly don’t know. Maybe some people around the world just feel 'activated' or comforted by my works. Much as if they found in my creative expression the words for what they’d secretly like to express. I always felt a special empathy for those who are not conformed. They are the public I wanna talk to."

#16

Emotional Barriers

Emotional Barriers

gebelia Report

Jayden Penzien
Community Member
11 months ago

I think its made that way...

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#17

The Marriage

The Marriage

gebelia Report

Pearl Of the SeaWing RainWings
Community Member
11 months ago

This one's a little cute.. unless there's some hidden meaning I'm overlooking

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Lastly, we asked Colombo for advice for any aspiring artist who would like to put their voice out there in the world. 

"My only advice is to deal with failure and keep on moving forward. Try to earn money but do not think about money as the goal of your art: make art for art, make art for an ideal."

#18

Egosaurus

Egosaurus

gebelia Report

MermaidsAndDragons
Community Member
11 months ago

The egosaurus is gorgeous!

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#19

Through The Screen

Through The Screen

gebelia Report

juice
Community Member
11 months ago

i love this one

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#20

Christmas Mood

Christmas Mood

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52 Blue
Community Member
11 months ago

Man that baubles been hit hard by 2020 poor thing

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#21

Music Sounds Better With You

Music Sounds Better With You

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Pearl Of the SeaWing RainWings
Community Member
11 months ago

*melts with adorableness*

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#22

Daily Sustenance

Daily Sustenance

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Ms.M.
Community Member
11 months ago

Awww... that's heart wrenching

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#23

Community Guidelines

Community Guidelines

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Jayden Penzien
Community Member
11 months ago

OMG NO NONONO

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#24

Unlock

Unlock

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(っ◔◡◔)っ im a domestic weeb
Community Member
11 months ago

if only i could unlock my missing passwords

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#25

Daily Intake

Daily Intake

gebelia Report

Why?
Community Member
11 months ago

Bet you can't eat just one!

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#26

Life In Plastic

Life In Plastic

gebelia Report

DC
Community Member
11 months ago

... it's fantastic!

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#27

Priorities

Priorities

gebelia Report

Jayden Penzien
Community Member
11 months ago

BOOK!! MUST HAVE BOOOOOOK

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#28

Sneaky Domination

Sneaky Domination

gebelia Report

moon bug
Community Member
11 months ago

Is the artist saying we shouldn’t take warnings about coronavirus seriously? We’re in the middle of a pandemic and it seems like this was made by an anti-maskers who doesn’t believe in reducing contact or taking advice from scientists.

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#29

Panic Injection

Panic Injection

gebelia Report

Marlowe Fitzpatrik
Community Member
11 months ago

You just need to limit your news-intake. Not stay ignorant as a 'solution'!

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#30

Cosmic Relax

Cosmic Relax

gebelia Report

Sephie
Community Member
11 months ago

I wish this could be real!

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Note: this post originally had 54 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.