In cities across America born and raised, in the art class is where they spent most of their days. Chillin' out, maxin', acting all cool, wowing their peers and teachers at their schools when an idea struck, and they knew it was good. If anyone could do it then these artists could! So they readied their tools and with skill and great care, they made fresh fan art of the Prince of Bel-Air.
Thank you. Thank you. Yes, that introduction was amazing I "will" admit, but that’s exactly what the #fanart collected here for your viewing pleasure demands. Who knew that there are talented people out there in the nerdiverse producing fan art inspired by TV’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Not only that, but that it's some really amazing work?
Also amazing is the fact that the styles run the gamut from manga-influenced drawings and Picasso-inspired portraiture to graffiti art primetime TV 'toons. A unifying thread that runs through all of these diverse styles are vibrant colors and geometric patterns, the aesthetic for which characters on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Will especially) were known.
Everybody Loves Bel-Air
After seeing the gallery of works curated here, fans of the show could find themselves wishing that there were even more expressions of fandom in which to partake. If a show like Supernatural could inspire a yearly convention, why can’t The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? People across the globe love this show!
Until such time that something along the lines of a “Fresh-Con!” comes gloriously into existence — and allows us the chance to binge watch reruns, take selfies with the stars and attend panels on the proper way to cosplay Will, Carlton and Hillary — we can at least enjoy this stupid-fresh fan art. The fact that this wonderful work even exists shows that we are not alone.
7. Nuri Durr
First up is a series of wonderful works by the Atlanta-based artist Nuri Durr. Durr produced a series of eight animated-style pieces that almost look as though these characters are ready to grace the TV screen in a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air animated show.
Durr's 8x8-inch portraits boast caricatures of Will, Carlton, Ashley, Hillary, Aunt Viv, Uncle Phil, Geoffrey the butler, and best pal Jazz. Each illustrates a wide range of moods for these characters. From Will's shock and Carlton's cluelessness to Ashley's sweetness and Geoffrey's bitterness, this super fun series captures it all.
Next up is really fun piece by the Oregon-based artist Jessica Cornelius (a.k.a. Pandabot). Cornelius samples the urban scrawl seen during the opening credit sequence of The Fresh Price of Bel-Air. The image captures what is probably the most memorable moment from the show's theme song: detailing the moment immediately after Will got into one little fight, and his "mom got scared and said..."
From the moment that Carlton Banks first performed the dance now known as "The Carlton," it made an unforgettable impression. It also quickly found its way onto the dance floor at high school proms, Quinceañeras, Bar Mitzvahs, and Midwestern weddings. Oklahoma-based artist Steph Bassett (a.k.a. SaBasse) captures our enduring love of The Carlton in this smile-inducing piece of anime-styled fan art.
As Carlton smiles playfully at his cousin Will, you can almost hear Tom Jones singing in his trademark tenor how "It's not unusual to be loved by anyone." And it's not unusual to love super fun fan art like this piece.
One of cool things about being a kid of the '80s and '90s is picking up clever pop cultural references, like those in this sweet piece by Canadian artist Marco d'Alfonso (a.k.a. M7781). More mature fans of the show will easily recognize the background imagery from the opening of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. They might even catch the pose here that captures the cool flourish at the end of Will and Jazzy Jeff's handshake on the show. However, they may not know that the name of the ginormous Transformer across from Will also goes by the name Jazz, thus creating a visual pun that takes this fantastic fan art to a whole 'nother level.
3. Mark Paul Deren (MADSTEEZ)
In this gorgeously psychedelic piece by the California-based artist Mark Paul Deren (also known by the graffiti tag Madsteez), Carlton looks cooler than he ever was on television. Bow ties are the antithesis of street style, but Madsteez almost makes it seem like your fashion steez can't complete with one. The points on the geometric shapes placed the bottom left area of the painting offers a subtle hint at just how "sharp" this guy's style can be. The placement of the word "fresh" in the foreground speaks to Carlton's overall look here while also echoing the title of the show.
2. Noam Sussman
There's quite a bit of humor to be found in this piece by artist Noam Sussman, which first plays off the height difference between the 5'6" tall Carlton and 6'2" Will. Amusing also is the Picasso-eque vibe that distorts their heads and displaces their eyes in a way that — like Picasso's best cubist work — is always unsettling. The patterns and colors of the shirts ground each character in their respective rigid and unconventional personalities. It all sits nicely against a spackled green and yellow background. In a home accented with '90's style decor, this would hang wonderfully over the fireplace with a gaudy gold baroque-style frame.
1. Malachi Wright (The_Wright_Artist)
Even if you don't watch any of the current primetime animated TV toons like American Dad, Family Guy, or The Cleveland Show, you'll probably recognize the style of those show sampled for this stellar piece by 15-year-old Chicago-based artist (yeah, let that sink in) Malachi Wright (a.k.a. The_Wright_Artist). Like the opening piece by Nuri Durr, this image by Wright also looks like it's ready for TV screens as a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cartoon. Wright also does a fantastic job of presenting Will and the Banks family in a contemporary style that shows us how the love of this '90s #TV sitcom now spans the generations.
Do you wish you had an auntie and uncle in Bel-Air? Let us know in the box below!