Connor Gottfried is a multidisciplinary artist who has been making giant works of art with a focus on retro video games.
Admittedly, I am late to the party when it comes to Connor’s art, because whenever I had previously seen it, I thought it was digital collage work.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that it was real world physical artwork, large scale, and playable. Excuse me, sir, what?!
To better understand Connor’s art, we need to take a stroll down memory lane…
Connor Gottfried is an engineer, artist and musician from Calgary, Canada.
His journey in gaming and technology had a pretty unique start.
At the age of five, his father purchased an Apple II computer. But he purchased it with a caveat… He was able to convince the store owner to allow him to copy every game disk available.
So Connor’s gaming journey began with a collection of nearly 300 titles at his disposal. What a lucky kid! And awesome dad!
From that point, Connor was hooked. His childhood and teenage years were a whirlwind of gaming, music, art and programming.
He has a ton of credits to his name in music, programming, development… but most relevant to the topic of today’s article (we could write a small book about Connor if we don’t reel this in!)…
It was in 2019 when Connor started putting screens in his large scale artwork.
And it was a 2021 Zelda Game & Watch art piece that really established his path into making large scale retro game art.
Playable Retro Game Art
Once Connor saw people’s reactions to his early game art pieces, he knew he was onto something.
A statement that Connor made in our exchanges really stood out to me: “This was when I realized that the idea was lighting people up.”
That’s what this is all about for me… We are into retro games because they light us up. They have magical sentimental significance. And it’s all about fun and happiness.
Surely art and gaming makes Connor happy. When he saw that it could give that feeling to others, he leaned into it.
His most recent works explore both retro gaming as well as visual deconstruction.
These works are large scale (it’s hard to get an idea of the scale until you see the photos in context), and combine playable game consoles and complex layered artwork.
Many of Connor’s artworks are for sale on his website Connorg.ca. So it’s actually possible to obtain one of his pieces for your own collection.
He also has an exhibit at the Rochester Museum of Fine Art this coming May-June. And is in talks to also exhibit his works in his own hometown at the Contemporary Calgary.
It’s awesome to see all of Connor’s success in his art.
He has already been quite successful in every endeavor he has set himself to.
But it is quite fitting to see his journey culminating in something that combines so many of his passions into a tangible medium.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.