Super Game Boy , Super Famicom version
My latest column for Kill Screen Magazine is “Yoshi’s Fauvist Island,” an exploration of how the 1995 video game Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island is a Fauvist masterpiece:
“Wild beast” could just as accurately describe Yoshi’s Island’s careening sense of color, with level backgrounds that range from pastel-tinged mountaintops to green-jeweled forests and dank blue caves. During the game’s introductory cut scene where Baby Luigi first goes missing, the rainbow group of Yoshis congregate in a surreally-colored forest bower, with pale pink and orange bushes, parti-colored vine tendrils of blue, green and purple, and trees set with orange flowers. In the early stages of the game, Yoshi bounces through rolling hills, afternoon sunlight turning them a bright, solid yellow. The game looks beautiful, but looking with an eye to art history, Yoshi’s Island’s aesthetics are actually very avant-garde.