Home Money Consciousness 30+ Brutally Honest Illustrations That Show What’s Wrong With Today’s Society
Money Consciousness

30+ Brutally Honest Illustrations That Show What’s Wrong With Today’s Society

Trista October 7, 2021

From birth, we assume the world to be a certain way. However, as we age and things change, we may question things that seem normal in society. Austrian artist Gerhard Haderer and Polish artist Pawel Kuczynski use their talents to question society through their satirical observations of humankind’s habits and obsessions.

The artwork suggests that we as a society need to do better before it is too late. Looking at these powerful illustrations, you may start to ask yourself if you agree with what the artists are trying to convey.

Pawel Kuczynski

39. Let’s Take A Photo

We all know how convenient having access to phones and cameras has been for us with its benefits. It also seems to come with a downfall for most of us, as well.

It’s all too common in today’s society to see a person taking photos or recording a situation where someone needs help. However, they’re snapping pictures instead of helping right away.

Pawel Kuczynski

38. Technology For Prayers

Screens are one of the most controversial topics out there. By the angle of this photo, we are guessing that Kuczynski isn’t too impressed with society’s direction. This sad illustration shows a family supposedly saying a prayer.

However, they read their prayers from their screens, be it their phones, tablets, or laptops. This reminds us of our dependence on screens. It also says how screens affect many aspects of society, including the ability to say a prayer without having a screen to read it from.

Pawel Kuczynski

37. Find The Facts For Yourself

Kuczynski seems to be sharing his stance on Brexit, drawing a man with power reading to kids who all conform to his saying. That is, all except for one child in this illustration.

The colors in this photo resemble the European Union Flag and show a little child choosing to read for themself, instead of interpreting the facts according to what “the man” is saying.

Pawel Kuczynski

36. Choosing Lethargy

At this point of the article, it’s not that hard to understand that Kuczynski sees books as the jewels of knowledge. This is subject to one’s own interpretation.

But the artist seems to be encouraging people to climb the mountain of knowledge while making it appear that those who chose not to are handicapped. They are overweight, lazy, and not very smart.

Pawel Kuczynski

35. Trash Politicians

While looking at this photo, we may have the urge to laugh while boiling with anger inside. And it seems that Kuczynski has that way of making unfortunate things into something so satirical that we feel the need to laugh.

Here, the artist attests to the continuous political garbage that we, as a society, face every day from politicians. Not just nationally but globally as well. He is kindly reminding us where they all belong, though, in a garbage landfill.

Pawel Kuczynski

34. Will Books Be A Rarity?

In this illustration, you could interpret it in several different ways, depending on who is looking at it. However, by the looks of this, it seems like Kuczynski is pointing towards the fact that one day, probably not too long from now, books will start to become the real treasures of the world, maybe even becoming harder to come by. With computers, social media, television, and other screens taking over, books are becoming rarer and rarer.

Pawel Kuczynski

33. Keeping Our Heads In Phones

An old Japanese saying goes, “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.” That saying could not apply more to this illustration here. The artist could be referring to a couple of different things. Maybe they are referring to the fact that we need to keep up with technology in today’s society.

If we don’t, we will get hammered down. Alternatively, maybe it could even mean that if someone were to stand out too much from the others, they, too, would be mowed down.

Pawel Kuczynski

32. Inequality Is A Harh Reality

This illustration is compelling and is a harsh reminder of the inequalities that make up our world. While some people may have everything they want and need, or at the very least don’t have to worry about where they’re getting their next meal, others are not as lucky.

There are too many people in this world who are hungry and have little to no access to food. That is, not only for themselves but their families.

Pawel Kuczynski

31. Settling For This

There seems to be no waste of an opportunity to criticize technology and our dependence on it when it comes to Kuczynski’s illustrations. Perhaps his criticism is not the fact that we use it, but more so the fact that it has wholly sucked us into a shallow pool of ability.

This can so easily characterize the internet. Moreover, while there, we completely ignore the beauty of the oceans and the rest of the world.

Pawel Kuczynski

30. Technology Stalks Us

It seems like people are so worried about the presence they have online and the image they may portray on the internet that it seems inevitable that they will experience some anxiety or panic attack.

People may perceive it as a saturation point that one goes to once the screens get way too excessive, so they may decide to get away from technology for a while.

Pawel Kuczynski

29. Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go fans will probably make faces cringe a little bit when they hear this one. The game had come with the intent of taking people out of their homes and getting them to become more active outside. However, in the first 148 days of its launch, the game may have contributed to almost 150,000 traffic accidents.

It also led to some 250 deaths. That’s not something to take lightly in today’s society regarding something controlled by technology.

Pawel Kuczynski

28. Detrimental Eating Habits

Although we are guessing that people will have many different views of this illustration, we’ll attempt to interpret this one. One person could interpret it as a man who is slowly killing himself and his wings.

The food he chooses to eat by choosing detrimental eating habits that include harming and even frying his own wings so that he can indulge himself.

Pawel Kuczynski

27. Screens Circling Like Sharks

It seems that reading a book or doing anything else other than being on our phone or tablet seems to be rebellious more than anything else. However, many critics may say that the artist may be placing too much importance on books.

In their mind, this is just oversimplifying the benefits of technology to spark the debate even further. Nevertheless, we must argue the fact that books are far from useless.

Pawel Kuczynski

26. Toxic Work Culture

This illustration is not only a meaningful reminder but also a brutal one that illustrates how the work culture we have created in today’s society in the world is completely destructive to any hint of creativity out there.

It seems that people have become “slaves” of their work and to their bosses and work exactly as expected. At the same time, wealthy bosses and big corporations plow the fields with the tears and sweat of those they exploit and see nothing with it.

Gerhard Harderer

25. The Perfect Selfie’s Importance

This picture here strikes us as an exaggerated reference to the fact that many people have become completely lost in the selfie situation. This photo illustrates someone who decided to take a selfie with a shark, just in time for the shark to eat them for dinner. Meaning, people seem not to consider how dangerous they may put themselves in to get that perfect shot.

The illustration couldn’t be more ironic since research shows that more people have died from selfie-related incidences in comparison to shark attacks. That doesn’t seem like such an intelligent thing when we could have avoided it all.

Pawel Kuczynski

24. Blinded By Our Screens

In this illustration, it appears that the cell phones or the screens have gotten in the way of the donkey’s eyes and are everything that the donkey can use to perceive the world. We are guessing that the artist is referring to people, like the donkey, being completely blinded by technology from all sides in today’s society.

This makes it impossible for us to look forward in life, or anywhere else for that matter.

Pawel Kuczynski

23. Secrets Are Now Social Media

Almost no secret is safe in today’s society. That’s because of technology and how rapidly news stories can travel these days. That secret that you told only one or two other people may somehow leak, even if by accident, making it, so more people hear about it than not at any given moment.

Twitter is certainly one of people’s favorite platforms to share things. In this illustration, the artist makes an apparent reference to how people use the platform to spread gossip instead of important information these days.

Pawel Kuczynski

22. Technology Actually Isolates

Here is another powerful criticism made by Kuczynski that points towards how each of us puts into technology, which results in most of us becoming isolated and alone. When people immerse themselves for hours in their laptops, phones, and tablets, they create tiny islands.

The beauty of the outside world becomes invisible, and spending time with those they love becomes rare. It’s a sad reality, but it happens to a lot more people than anyone would like to admit.

Pawel Kuczynski

21. Dumping On Graves

In this illustration, Kuczynski used the power of his art to abruptly remind us of some harsh reality that most of us will face. In his drawing, it appears that the cat is about to poop out one of the mice’s family members or friends into the grave while they anxiously wait to give their dear friend the respect and rest that they deserve.

It could also mean that once our powerful governments eat us, all they do after is “poop on our graves” even after we are gone.

Gerhard Harderer

20. Gun Violence Broadcasted Online

This is no doubt that some of these illustrations made by Kuczynski are a punch to the stomach, and this one is one of them. The fact that this soldier appears to take pride in his violent role in the war he is serving, through his selfie, is a bit hard to look at and maybe even comprehend.

The artist also mentions that he is utterly unaware of what surrounds him and has no idea what he is genuinely pointing his gun at.

Gerhard Harderer

19. The World’s Beauty Through Screens

This illustration is a sad reminder that humanity has completely lost it when it comes to people’s priorities when looking at anything beautiful in today’s society. Instead of enjoying and watching a sunset, every person on this beach appears to be taking a picture of it.

This is ompletely missing the point and only seeing it through their screens. This picture they took will probably make it to social media after, and you will probably never remember the sunset afterward.

Gerhard Harderer

18. Screens Overtake Family Activities

This picture is troublesome because it strikes as an exaggeration for something that parents could feel the need to debate. We are guessing that the artist who created this illustration refers to the fact that baking cookies for Christmas was once a family affair.

It used to be a beautiful moment that parents enjoyed while spending time with their children. However, the mother is baking her cookies alone instead of with her children. They are now all sitting behind her, playing on their phones, tablets, or laptops.

Gerhard Harderer

17. Church Turns A Blind Eye

In typical Haderer style, this drawing may come out as a little bit harsh to some. This illustration might make some people out there who see it very angry or upset. However, the truth of the matter is that it starts, or maybe even continues, a critical conversation around priests, religion.

The continuous accusations we have all heard about loom large. So, we are just going to leave this one out there for you to interpret on your own.

Gerhard Harderer

16. True Reality Of Screen Time

Haderer points towards a very particular theme in a lot of his artwork: people miss out on real-life things because they become obsessed with looking at their screens. This artist may have seen or predicted a futuristic scenery where people will no longer worry about spending time with their friends and loved ones. They won’t even fight over who gets to choose what to put on the screen because each person will get their own TV or screen.

Gerhard Harderer

15. Money Hunger Makes You Choke

By looking at this illustration, you probably already know the intention of this artwork. Haderer seems to be making a not-so-subtle criticism towards business people who are significantly money hungry and never stop wanting more. It’s a pretty self-explanatory one.

This picture shows greed and even perhaps warns us that the more someone chases after money, the more one has a chance of choking on it. Furthermore, they could eventually become ill or, even worse, die from it. We must know that money is not everything.

Gerhard Harderer

14. Fake Smiles

As a lot of us might know, life is hard, and the world has collectively experienced some of the biggest challenges and crises we have ever seen in just this past year and a half. To stay smiling may not only be a form of survival, but it may also be a reminder that something good can still exist.

Here, however, Haderer references people receiving their fake smiles from a smile shop instead of working internally to get their own smiles back, brought to them by true happiness.

Gerhard Harderer

13. Reading Is Rare

Here, Haderer did an incredible job at drawing on the laptop cafe culture that has seemed to become so common in many places around the world these days. Local cafes often seem to have rows of people participating in video calls, writing emails, and working their way into a fast-paced life.

In this illustration, as you can see, the artist refers to reading a newspaper in a coffee shop being “old school,” or something of a phenomenon, and others are curious about it.

Gerhard Harderer

12. Government Becoming Useless?

Here is another illustration that is critical of the lack of government leaders in our societies. Unfortunately, however, as overemphasized as it may be, this situation may be a bit too common worldwide these days.

Political debates have become a joke between certain politicians, and the government meetings have become worse than house parties, just as this artist illustrated in this particular drawing you see here. It’s sad to think how truthful this picture may be.

Gerhard Harderer

11. Europeans Selling Africans Their Own Products

This illustration brings up a lot, and such disappointing feelings for us towards the fair trades of goods in the world of agriculture, with how low supermarket prices continue to swallow local vendors whole. In this picture here, this woman is selling her local tomatoes while she competes with the cost of European tomatoes, which, even if they are cheaper, might be of much worse quality than her own.

However, of course, people will try and save money and go for what’s cheaper without considering the good and bad quality between the two.

Gerhard Harderer

10. The White House Flies

In this illustration made by Haderer, you can see that he is undoubtedly making us think about the previous or current situations inside the White House. Depending on one’s political beliefs, it can be pretty controversial for many people.

In this picture, you can see a swarm of flies heading in different directions, giving us a chance to summarize what the artist is telling us. Where can you easily find a hoard of flies? In the swamp, of course.

Gerhard Harderer

9. Last Fish In The Dried Sea

Even though the signs continue to prove to all of us that one day we might all face floods or drought that will eventually be the end of humanity here on earth, many people still ignore the vital subject of it all. It appears that in this illustration, these people seem to be mourning the passing of the last fish that existed on earth.

This is a reminder that global warming, or climate change, and the constant destruction of our environment will soon slap us all in the face.

Gerhard Harderer

8. Habits Stay The Same

Here we are, once again, back to a sad illustration of what some couples out there may do to celebrate the holidays. It doesn’t look like much excitement is happening here in this picture, even with the woman dressed provocatively.

Many people love the holiday season, and who doesn’t like getting a nice present or surprise from a loved one? Sadly, however, this couple resembles what may have become during the holiday season in today’s society. The holiday often passes us by while being stuck into our screens instead of enjoying each other’s company.

Gerhard Harderer

7. Pen Mightier Than Guns?

Have you ever heard the saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword?” If so, then this picture could mean that together we could overtake guns.

Maybe it could even be profound in the sense that education is one of the best tools to combat terrorism and violence in the world.

Gerhard Harderer

6. Blinded By Luxury

Haderer reveals this brutal illustration that is prone to different interpretations, once again. Alternatively, we could be looking at a couple enjoying their life of luxury on a float while those who are not so fortunate approach them.

This oversized couple is indulging too much while people try to swim to safety from a harsh reality.

Gerhard Harderer

5. Reality Of Chicken Farming

If you have gone down the lane of educating yourself with the way food, particularly the meat and poultry industries, work, then this one may be hard to look at.

In this illustration, Haderer seems to be referencing the battery of farmed chickens in today’s society. We put them through atrocities to give us eggs and chicken.

Gerhard Harderer

4. Talking Via Text Is Not Better

Haderer may have chosen an exaggeration here to illustrate the modern dating habits in today’s society. With this picture, he may not be too far off from the truth. For all we know, this couple could be on their first date.

Instead of getting to know each other, they are choosing to be on their phones rather. They are probably even tweeting or texting their friends how awkward of a date they are on.

Gerhard Harderer

3. A Better Car Means Little

Many of us spend countless hours commuting in traffic. Time is wasted away, without taking a second thought of it. Like this guy, we may continue to dream about the things that we can’t have.

However, the irony of this illustration is that he dreams about driving a sports car that he wouldn’t even be able to use in that sort of traffic jam.

Gerhard Harderer

2. Privacy Means Little

You would never tolerate someone jumping over the fence of your house and start taking pictures of you, would you? If not, then this drawing is a harsh reminder that drones may as well do just that.

Though the debate in today’s society may be around the use of drones which has been intense and controversial, something about this illustration reminds us of the movie “The Truman Show.”

Gerhard Harderer

1. Taking Work Everywhere

Another illustration that may bring up everything wrong with the work culture that we have created all around us in today’s society is this.

People nowadays work overtime and do what they are told and don’t have any breaks. We live to work. It seems, not work to live as we should. In this drawing, the men precisely depict that they can’t even have a bathroom break without sending that email and working on their laptops.