Across the backdrop of an expansive retro-Scandinavian landscape, Swedish illustrator Simon Stålenhag has spent the last few years imagining a world of science fiction inhabited by roaming mech robots, dinosaurs, and other technological innovations plopped right onto the Swedish countryside. The digitally painted images spread far and wide across the internet over the last few years, capturing the imagination of legions of fantasy and sci-fi fans who clamoured for comic books and even a feature film. For now, we’ll have to make do with old-fashioned art books.
Stålenhag and Free League Publishing just announced a Kickstarter project for two new books featuring Stålenhag’s dystopian vision of the future that will pair illustrations with short stories written in English. You can explore many more illustrations on his website (just start scrolling), and some are available as individual prints.
For his ongoing series Flying Cars, French designer Sylvain Viau digitally edits photographs of cars into sleek, wheel-less hover cars that appear to float just above the ground. Viau not only uses his own photography to create these sci-fi cars, but is fortunate to claim many of the actual cars among his own collection. He originally worked only with 80s Citroën vehicles because of their classic space-age design, but has continued to branch out over the last few months to include cars from Peugeot, Toyota, and Renault. You can see many more here. (via Designboom)
Update: Photographer Renaud Marion created a similar series of works in 2013.
Early last year motion graphics artist and Alexandra Khitrova decided to utilize some of the digital tools she had acquired in her profession to explore concept illustration. While she did study art in school, this was an entirely new creative realm, a pet project to explore realms of science fiction and fantasy where flying dragons mingled with terrifying storms and otherworldly beings were brought to life on the screen.
The reaction online and off was swift, and Khitrova soon found herself working on increasingly complex drawings as she suddenly began to get commissions. Now, only a year later, she is already working with a team of writers and artists on a feature film. You can see more of her work over on DeviantArt.
Just announced today, The Sand Storm is a short film directed by New York filmmaker Jason Wishnow that was shot completely under the radar in China, starring none other than dissident artist Ai Weiwei in his acting debut. How such an audacious and risky endeavor came into being is pretty mind-blowing given the heavy amount of surveillance surrounding the artist. The movie takes place in a dystopian future where Ai Weiwei plays the role of a smuggler in a world without water.
The existence of The Sand Storm was kept heavily under wraps while shooting in Beijing. Ai Weiwei has been closely watched by the government since his 2011 imprisonment and authorities still have yet to return his passport. While the short film has already been shot beginning to end, the filmmakers are raising a bit of money on Kickstarter to finish the movie and recoup some costs as crowdfunding beforehand was too risky. Had this been announced yesterday I would have assumed it was a hoax.
Update: At the moment it appears the Kickstarter has been halted due to a dispute.
While visiting ArtPrize this weekend I was captivated by this amazing graphite and ink drawing by New York artist Samuel Gomez. The surreal triptych titled Deadpan Comedy measures 18 x 5 feet and is meant as commentary on the negative effects of corporations and capitalism. Even standing in front of it I found it nearly impossible to identify every single detail as the piece is so dense with imagery and symbolism. You can see more of Gomez’s work over on Behance or Facebook.
Swiss artist Remo Lienhard (aka Wes21) has an imagination to kill for. His acrylic and spray paint works are explosively detailed and often depict a sort of dystopian fusion of people and the natural world. Though despite the grittiness and abundance of detail found in each of his works it’s clear he also possesses a keen sense of humor. Lienhard belongs to a collective of graffiti artists and illustrators called Schwarzmaler where you can find much more of his street art and other works. Also don’t miss him over on Facebook. (via street art utopia which has a killer roundup of street art this month)
Update: Wes21 is represented by SOON where you can learn more about his work.
From the brilliant mind of New Jersey artist Mike Doyle (I’ve previously featured his spooky victorian houses), comes Contact 1 the first in a series of grand scale LEGO works “celebrating extra terrestrial contact events, spiritual beings and unique worlds.” The towering world is the culmination of some 600 hours of work using 200,000 individual bricks and stands nearly 5 feet high by six feet wide. Doyle is offering limited edition prints and DIY instructions on how to create individual portions of Contact 1 over on Kickstarter.