Steve Cutts’ bleak view of city life



Steve Cutts is a London based illustrator and animator. His work predominantly satirises consumer culture, poking fun at humanity’s unhealthy habits, the dominance of branding, and the negative impacts of capitalism at its extreme end. Cutts often depicts masses of consumers and office workers as zombie-like, hypnotised hordes. The ways in which he communicates his message are anything but subtle. In fact, they can be said to be lacking in nuance. However, there is a place for didactic work alongside the more open-ended and ambiguous, and it is valuable for strong political opinions to be voiced and debated in the creative sphere.

Cutts has most recently directed and animated the short film Happiness. It brings a fairly grim view of society, but one that is timely during this time of year, when overspending and greed can tip the balance. In Happiness, Cutts has turned to the loveable character an anthropomorphised rat. We watch our protagonist, quite literally, enter the ‘rat race’ and struggle with temptation, distraction, desire, and the routine of 9-to-5 work life. It’s an endearing and relatable tale, full of scenes we can imagine witnessing on a daily basis. The animation is crisp and atmospheric, with sustained elements of cuteness, which stop it from becoming too dark. The type of life depicted here may be addictive and confining, but it is not the only way. More of his work here.