Aesthetics Wiki

Grime Art is a form of digital art stylized to look dark, gritty and grotesque, which yet manages to appeal to the general public. The aesthetic focuses on transforming pre-existing pictures (particularly portraits and selfies, among other imagery) into cartoonish, disfigured and "zombified" versions of the original photo, using elements such as dripping faces, exaggerated facial features and non-natural skin colors. This aesthetic particularly became popular during 2015-2018, being mostly associated with Rap, Hip-Hop and Horrorcore Rap music.

The general appeal of Grime Art lies in its ability to be in some way "relatable" due to its imperfect grotesque style. By distorting, deforming and drawing over familiar images, Grime artists aim to create a sense of unease and provoke thoughts on the viewers.



Grime Art shares many similiarities with Caricaturism, which can date back to as early as the Medieval period, as many artists have been experimenting with distorsion since those times. Grotesque art in particular has been a creative interest of a minority of people since the Classical era, but modern variants have gained important attention in the Internet and social media. The appeal of Grotesque art in general mainly comes from how the grotesque is a common experience, yrt an overlooked and stigmatized one, so somehow it can be relatable to many people. Given all of this, the original idea of Grime Art is that art doesn't necessarily need to be ideal, perfect or "palatable".


The creation of Grime Art is attributed to Richie Velasquez, more known as deladeso online[1]. Despite this, this aesthetic started to spread after the music video for the Dubstep song "Head Splitter" by Getter became an hit in 2015, back when the Dubstep genre was at its peak[2]. The musical video featured Grime Art visuals as well as some Vaporwave elements. Eventually, Grime Art was picked up as a new trend by many artists in social media sites, like Instagram, Tumblr or PicsArt, where an entire challenge based around Grime Art was hosted in 2018[3]. A community of Grime artists started appearing in those platforms, and it progressivily became less repetitive. Despite the fact it was initially associated with Dubstep, it also moved on into other musical genres, including Rap, Hip-Hop and Horrorcore.


The visuals of Grime Art are quite simple. Although they originally were used on musical videos, nowadays they're more used in portrait edits and other paintings. Grime Art is usually made by drawing over pre-existing images and adding Grotesque elements, like drip, slime, pepperoni pizza, zombies, melting flesh, vomit and white glowing eyes. It also often includes other elements deemed "imperfect" regarding personal appareance, like droopy skin and exaggerated eyebags. As part of its zombie-oriented style, the edits also often include skin colours that are not natural, like pink, light red, blue, green, purple or yellow, and the tones are usually either pastel or bright. Some consider this style to be repetitive, but some dedicated Grime artists like Richie Velasquez have tried to make less repetitive artworks by incorporating and experimenting with new elements.