Cali Thornhill Dewitt

A searing, post-punk testament to the millennial condition.

Cali Thornhill DeWitt (real name Michael DeWitt) was born in 1973 on Vancouver Island, Canada, and now lives and works in Los Angeles, USA.

Collaborations

In 2016, Dewitt collaborated with Kanye West to design his Yeezy Season 3 collection and promote the then-upcoming album The Life of Pablo.

Did you know?

Once employed as a nanny to Frances Bean Cobain (Kurt Cobain's daughter), the artist has since become a music industry mainstay - co-founding record label Teenage Teardrops and designing album artwork for bands including King Tuff and Destruction Unit.

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Collaborations with this artist

Practice overview

Cali Thornhill Dewitt’s brash punk-poetry spans multiple artistic disciplines. His DIY aesthetic pairs photography, often of war or aerial shots of the planet, with macabre slogans such as “PANIC ATTACK,” “CRISIS SUPPORT'' and “PEOPLE ARE THE PROBLEM.” Imagery of American flags, nuclear war, serial killers and the JFK assasination emphasise sensationalism in mass-media and political fear mongering. Meanwhile, his own background making band posters and album covers during the 1990s emanates through the grungy-glam attitude. Throughout his repertoire, Dewitt’s sardonic twists on iconic symbolism raise themes including nationalism, capitalism and the American dream.

Dewitt’s work is incredibly current, both in form and content. His eye-catching compositions and cut-and-paste aesthetic imitate the punchlines of contemporary meme culture. In addition, he confronts urgent issues such as mental health and the environmental crisis which, despite being enduring topics, have only garnered significant increase in public attention over the past decade. Thus, the artist captures the essence of the millennial generation: an acute social awareness driven by a dissatisfaction with the inequalities and self-sabotaging tendencies of the human race. Yet, through his deeply critical and thoughtful work, Dewitt presents an ironic optimism -​​ suggesting that if we are prepared to learn from the worst of the world, there is endless potential to change it.

“Everyone should challenge corruption and power. If I see people pushing back I’m always happy, always hopeful.”Cali Thornhill Dewitt