Infamous for plastering contentious stickers around Auckland, attracting the attention and praise of everyone from high-end suiting retailers to a large number of Instagrammers, almost all completely oblivious to the man behind the subject of their pics, Yesterday's Tomorrow is an anomaly in the art world.
Braden Gordon has been drawing since he was a kid. The interest piqued when his family relocated to Italy, where he didn't speak "a click" of the language, resorting to spending time communicating his ideas visually, with pencil across blank pages. Over the years, he honed his talent, and began to mirror and critique the media surrounding him. When the time came to open the floodgate through a social media presence, Braden decided on a moniker as faux-mysterious as the celebrities he drew: Yesterday's Tomorrow, a.k.a, today. It's really rather serendipitous that Braden had stumbled upon the perfect name for our junk food carpe diem culture.
Adopting the practice of American artist Jake Parker to drop art around the city without any prior notice, only shooting out the message to social media followers after it's been abandoned, Braden's managed to get his work into the hands of his most die-hard fans, and lucky passers-by alike. When I asked him why he spent his own time and energy only to give his work away for free, he responded, "Who doesn't love a scavenger hunt?"
Predominately using pop-culture as fodder, Braden also finds his shtick in puns (see: icecream/I scream) and cartoon-ised animals - the latter of which he prefers illustrating with twist, providing an end result all the more intriguing.
At the end of our chat, I asked him how he felt about our wee country on the bottom of the world, particularly because he's recently taken to getting a little heavier and critiquing politics. Having spent the last few years traveling, he levelled his gaze and with the most contemplative and earnest tone I'd heard to that point, told me that he truly believes we don't know really know how lucky we are in this country. Contrary to any talk of tall poppy, "It's an amazing place to be young and creative; we have some swell humans down here with incredible attitudes."
Don't miss the chance to get up close and personal with Yesterday's Tomorrow's work at The Goods Pop-Up, 14th - 20th December, St Kevin's Arcade.