German artist Yeye Weller’s first solo show in London is taking place at print store and gallery They Made This. Coordinated entirely through Instagram, the project took ten months to bring to fruition and has resulted in 11 joyful limited edition prints.
The new set of illustrations comes together under the mantra Keep Smiling, which gives its name to the exhibition. The prints are joined in-store by a series of specially created murals, original sketches and an inflatable magic mushroom, tapping into the mushroom mania currently in the air.
Weller’s saccharine aesthetics and cheery characters made out of shapes and objects take after vintage posters, with the retro feel beefed up by recognisable historic motifs like the Mickey Mouse gloved hands or the Kellogg’s lettering. It might seem like he’s spoofing that language if it weren’t for his earnest pick-me-up messages that aim to spread positivity, plus a few cheeky tweaks that give the impression not even he takes these posters too seriously.
“We all know how hard life could be, but being grumpy is not the answer. Choose happiness,” Weller says. “I think I don’t tell you a secret, if I say being positive is the better way of living, but sometimes you need a reminder, so keep smiling.
“It’s okay to forget a password, a friend’s birthday or your phone at home,” he adds, “but you should never forget to take it easy. So keep smiling.”
Keep Smiling is on display at They Made This, London until December 24. Prints are available to buy in-store and online; theymadethis.co.uk