When I first came across the artworks of Moki, it was in her book “How to Disappear” which I couldn’t put down, and took home with me right away, where I spent hours pouring over her beautiful paintings. Now based in Berlin, her detailed paintings are dark, and intriguing.
Her images are unsettling and charming, strange yet familiar. They feature lonely northern landscapes: isolated Scandinavian and Icelandic terrain, a subarctic frozen lake continent, untouched caves and moss meadows, and mountains sculpted into anatomical shapes by wind and water. Animals and humans emerge and dissolve into their environments. Within the solitude of nature, disappearing seems an obvious act. (source)
Sometimes it’s hard to put into words how I feel about someone’s illustration or art. Mostly it’s “I like!” “I like!!” But that’s a pretty boring and shallow way to react to all this visual stimulation. Blame it on watching too much mindless TV. I don’t know. Anyway Jeremy Enecio’s fantastic art makes me gibber “I like” quite a bit. I had to stop for a bit, and actually look harder, take a moment and review why “I like”. I think first he caught my attention with his tribute work entitled Cthulu ( acrylic on paper | 11 x 14 ) The glowing eyes of the beast, and it’s enormity depicted with the tiny shark (that you instinctively know is probably a gazzillion meters long, at least 13 anyway!) drifting through the tentacles, froze me in it’s gaze. I couldn’t look away. Is it not fantastic to have this sort of physical reaction to an artwork. The more I browsed through his portfolio, the more I was entranced. The use of colour and subject matter, especially his fantastical artworks, blew my imagination open wide. Go do yourself a favour and take a peek at his website and blog!
Ralph McQuarrie’s art must look familiar to generations of movie goers, his work featured in Star Wars, Battlestar Gallactica and a slew of sci-fi flicks. He was a conceptual artist, and past away this year in March at the age of 83. He left behind a legacy of fantastic moonscapes, robots, and epic futuristic space stations.
McQuarrie started off drawing teeth and aeroplane parts for a dentistry firm and Boeing respectively, and created posters for the Apollo Space Program. His technical illustration ended up catching the eye of George Lucas, who commissioned him to create conceptual art work for his new film, Starwars.
“McQuarrie designed many of the film’s characters, including Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO and drew many concepts for the film’s sets. It was McQuarrie who suggested that Vader wear breathing apparatus. McQuarrie’s concept paintings, including such scenes as R2-D2 and C-3PO arriving on Tatooine, helped convince 20th Century Fox to fund Star Wars, which became a huge success upon release in 1977.Neil Kendricks of The San Diego Union-Tribune stated McQuarrie “holds a unique position when it comes to defining much of the look of the “Star Wars” universe.”McQuarrie noted, “I thought I had the best job that an artist ever had on a film, and I had never worked on a feature film before. […] I still get fan mail — people wondering if I worked on Episode I or just wanting to have my autograph.” source
His work carved out a particular style within the sci-fi-fantasy genre, creating landscapes and worlds that one could really imagine inhabiting, vast alien vistas receding into the distance, populated with characters that, brought into our lives through cinema, feel like old friends.
“Ralph McQuarrie’s life can be clearly divided into two distinct sections: before Star Wars, he was an industrious, skilled, virtually unknown technical illustrator; after Star Wars, he became the most sought after Production Illustrator ever to work in films.
A primary reason for this change, of course, has to do with the film’s unprecedented success. But, in a very real sense, Star Wars wouldn’t have been the film it was without McQuarrie. His eyes and hands were the first lenses through which Star Wars was focused and captured for Lucas’ inspection and refinement.” source
You can find out more, and see more of his art on his website.
These are a few paintings from Stefan à Wengen, a Swiss artist based in Germany. His work is often times dark, mysterious, and I particularly love his “Occurrence” series, which I have presented here. The paintings make you ask questions, what happened? why? where? Your imagination spins off in a multitude of directions, fuelled by his landscapes and creatures, who seem furtive, perhaps trying to escape, flying off canvas, and creeping into shadows. The mood seems one of the hunter or hunted.
He includes an interesting interview in his website, an excerpt of which I have included here.
Where does your interest in night, darkness and desolation come from?
That is not an easy question! I try to answer;
I try to work with things I do not understand like death, sexuality and time. Since my childhood I am fascinated in things I tried to understand but nobody could explain me, for example where melancholy comes from, why do I have depressing days, why is alienation so alien, why is the night sometimes frightening and at the same time so beautiful and protective.
There is always light in the dark, there is always good in evil – or like Lautréamont once said: “Like Baudelaire, like Flaubert, he too believes that the aesthetic expression of evil implies the most vital appreciation of good, the highest morality.”
Or to tell it in an other way:
I always felt the idyll seems uncanny to me, the idyll of a fancy suburbia for example implies to me a great deal of violence to keep up the idyll as such, to keep up the atmosphere of this area, that suggests, that there is always Sunday. These things make me angry and are fascinating me at the same time.
There is no black or white, there is neither a grey, but there can be black and white… you know what I mean…
And doesn’t have everybody a dark side? Don’t we enjoy the execration sometimes – beside it helps to keep up our cardiovascular system?
Now this guy paints some mysterious artworks; mushrooms and flowers infest his characters from a 2011 collection, in an organic explosion of colour and texture. I enjoy his use of colour, and especially his subjects, pale glowing skin, pink fingers, or entirely filled with swirling effects. Julian Callos, is an LA based illustrator, and I recommend you go check out his website. His sculptures are pretty neat too! He is a talented painter, and his editorial work is fantastic. He is able to capture emotions and moments in time with smart attention to detail, creating interesting appealing artworks.
Woah Tatiana, way to go and blow my mind! All the elements in her paintings swirl your imagination into a frothy milkshake. Looking at them I feel like I am dreaming after eating too much cheese. Always interesting, and strange. The colours, hues of blues and pinks submerge her fish, birds and bees in other worlds, and I feel like I am traversing her painting in a submersible. Tatiana Kazakova is a Russian illustrator, and if you can read russian, why not visit her blog, which is full of interesting snippets as well as art.