Memory Lane: Turtle in Time

Illustrating the Historical Journey of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Like most 90s kids, Daniel Nyari grew up watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and collecting several of the TMNT toys.

When Bottleneck Gallery in New York invited him to participate in their Nickelodeon sponsored show, he knew it was his chance to create something unique, whilst also bringing in some influences from his childhood.

I like the idea of the computer and in my case, digital software I create my works in, giving way to form a new language of illustration that doesn’t try to hide its artificiality with textures or “organic” brush-strokes.

His geometric style is based on patterns and the use of certain shapes and angles which are visibly part of a greater mathematical structure/grid.

We asked Daniel a little more about his TMNT project:

The Plus: Do you have a favourite point of evolution of TMNT?
Daniel Nyari:
I still prefer the original black and white Mirage Comics version, mostly because I love the juxtaposition of the comically-looking with the serious subject matter. That’s a reason why I will never quite like Christopher Nolan’s “gritty”, “realistic” interpretation of Batman – just doesn’t work. However as I was developing this project I began to appreciate the nuances of some of the other designs.

TP: Do you have a favourite character?
DN:
I always liked the leader figure; Leonardo, because I always wanted to be a leader figure myself, probably to compensate for the fact that I was more the goofy nerdy type so something along the lines of Michelangelo or Donatello.

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TP: Did you discover anything about TMNT through research that you didn’t realise before?
DN:
I begin by doing research naturally. I was pleasantly surprised at some things. I had no idea TMNT was once a musical or an animated Manga cartoon in Japan.

TP: What are you up to now?
DN:
Right now I’m working with Arsenal football club on a season long match day programme illustration set that will end in May 2015. I’m also currently working on a long-term book project for the music industry. Also, I occasionally accept commissions here and there.

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Turtles In Time, an official TMNT art show Celebrating 30 years of “Turtle Power” is open now at Bottleneck Gallery。

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