Sci-Fi-O-Rama 2013 Roundup (1)
Let’s start 2013 with something of a roundup. A quick reality check, refresh and splash of Eau de toilette.
What we have here then is a brief sampler straight from the Sci-Fi-O-Rama barometer, a long-awaited update on a selection of the finest, past featured contemporary artists.
We begin this post sandwiched between the wonderful work of Peruvian Designer and Illustrator Gianmarco Magnani, better known in design circles as Silence Televsion. Heading the article is a simply stunning metallic screenprint celebrating Robert Zemeckis’s 1989 blockbusting sequel ‘Back to the Future II’, a recent commission for Mondo, whom we have of course interviewed before, In fact Mondo is a common theme here as you’ll see…
The Mondo Screenprint alas is long since sold out, though I imagine as with other Mondo material they’ll circulate occasionally in eBay (set up a watched search). What I particularly love about this DeLorean DMC-12 rendering, aside from the typical hyper detail is of course the angle, admittedly it’s a while since I last saw the film, but I can’t remember ever seeing a shot of the car at this viewpoint, can you?
Just to further extend upon some of the details; chipped and scratched paint, an actual real world design flaw the short lived car manufacturer was infamously haunted by. For me though the mastery of the illustration lies within the assorted wiring & tubing that circumnavigates the vehicle slivering inside and out. Designing this mayhem must surely be the most enthralling part, techno illustration with a distinctly psychedelic edge. All of this of course is similar in ethos to the work Japanese cyberpunk maestro Katsuhiro Otomo of whom Gianmarco pays tribute too below.
‘Akira’ developed for Mondo Gallery
Once again this is another Mondo commissioned limited edition screenprint, a beautiful design that’s very true to the styling of the Otomo originals. For myself as a teenager, Akira offered probably the most-complete escapist Sci-Fi, but admittedly as 36-year-old I’ve paid less attention recently. Studying this piece It strikes me that I never realised how very 80’s it all is, particularly Kaneda’s jacket with its asymmetric fasteners, power shoulder padding and oversized collars. It’s construction presumably would be red leather, though dyed suede and corduroy could work too… anyway I digress!
I hope to bring you more from both Gianmarco Magnani and Katsuhiro Otomo this year, in the meantime it’s certainly worth bookmarking and tracking the Silence Television blog.
Continuing with the Mondo related artist’s theme, here’s a taster of the work of Illustrator Tyler Stout, another master of deadeye minutia whose style is set apart by a more frenetic edge, clearly seen below with this Gremlins 2 inspired sample. This T-Shirt print – at time of press – is still available if you follow this link to the Mondo Store. Just a quick note on the original Gremlins movie, IMHO it’s got to be one the best Christmas movies no? For me, it’s up there with Diehard. Bollocks to It’s a Wonderful Life…
Below we have another classy movie led illustration featuring probably the best helmet ever designed for the silver screen, which appeared of course in quite possibly the greatest sci-fi film ever made. Alien, what more do you need to know? Actually one thing I’m not 100% sure on who the character actually is, the title reads simply ‘Navigator’. Well nothing wrong with a little mystery I guess!
As a quick sidenote, it’s nice to see Tyler has included the original Weyland Yutani winged shoulder patch, this of course was originally designed by John Mollo whom I profiled mid-2011 (Oscar-winning Starwars costume designer). If you’ve not had a look you can check that post out here.
Staying with the Mondo connection we move on towards Martin Ansin an artist I’ve somehow managed to not include on Sci-Fi-O-Rama before (ok, admittedly I’ve been slack of late). Here the subject matter for this limited edition screenprint is Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil‘, the classic dystopian satire that was released in cinemas back in 1985. With regards to the print, let’s start by saying it doesn’t get much better than this; composition, mood, colouring and of course the rendering itself are all as close to perfection as one might dare to quantify. Love the diffused texturing, really helps to bring the whole thing to life. I’ve included the poster and two close-ups of the detail. Wow!
Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’
So just art from a single ‘super sample’ here, Martin is definitely someone I wish to profile properly, in the meantime though you can marvel at more from his gloriously rich and expansive portfolio via martinansin.com – utterly, utterly enviable!
Moving out beyond Mondo territory we home in upon Jasper Goodall another personal favourite of mine, and of whom I featured back in 2011 (you can read that here). I’ve chosen a couple of fairly recent images via his site. Note that upon visiting the home page is, in fact, a blog reel so do be sure to scroll down and view the perfect balance between lavish commercial illustration and personal projects. I’ve pulled out a couple of examples of which I’ll annotate below.
‘Druck Berlin’ 2011
Here we have an image that totally encapsulates the essence of what Jasper does best – sublime beauty with a gleefully sinister edge – a totally mesmerising style. This offset 2 colour piece, was produced as part of the 2011 ‘Druck Berlin‘ screenprinting festival.
Following on here’s a Vimeo short (above) that pushes the tribalist face masks further, Jasper notes this video is a ‘bit of a new direction’. It’s a supremely atmospheric piece with subtle but very effective animation, perfectly synchronised with an eerily atmospheric score.
As I footnote I must say it is always a pleasure to check out Jasper’s site, there really is something effortlessly cool that exudes from his work. What would be nice is to somehow absorb the genius via the osmosis of viewing, hasn’t quite worked for me yet!
Next up we have a return to the work of Norwegian born artist Simen Johan whom I first featured back in 2009. Though this site has an extensive bio it hasn’t been updated past 2011 so I’m not 100% sure what Simen is working on at the moment, presumably still exhibiting. Definitely an artist I’d like to focus on again this year so watch this space for a more in-depth profile. In the meantime here’s a little more from the breathtakingly beautiful “Until The Kingdom Comes”.
‘Until the Kingdom Comes’
Underpinned by unrivalled technical prowess Simen’s work resonates with layer upon layer of mystique and otherworldly magic. If you wish to see further enchanting samples from ‘Until The Kingdom Comes’ visit www.simenjohan.com.
Finally, we follow up with another photographic based artist you may well be familiar with, Vincent Fourier. whose imagery constantly circles pops up the major design sites. Suffice to say Fourier has an extremely interesting and diverse portfolio that I thoroughly recommend perusing. I’ll skim the surface and pull out a few examples to give you the lead in.
‘TV Tower’ and ‘The National Congress Palace’
Two brilliantly composed, almost painterly photographs taken from Vincents 2012 project ‘Brasilia’, a study of one of the world’s most modern cities, certainly in terms of utopian 20th-century thinking.
Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil since 1960 was conceived and developed in the mid-1950’s, it’s a masterpiece of large-scale urban planning and development and a glittering reflection of the modernist themes of the day. Viewed from above the Brasilia appears as a plane or butterfly, and at it’s visionary helm were a group of three that included urban planner Lúcio Costa, landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx and Oscar Niemeyer as the principal architect. A quick side note; all three of these men were extremely long-lived, and in fact, Niemeyer who is considered as one of the fathers of modern architecture lived to an astonishing 104 years of age, only passing away on December 5th, 2012. ‘O belo Brasil!’ The key to a life longevity?
‘Kjell Henriksen Observatory #1 [KHO], Adventdalen, Spitsbergen Island, Norway, 2010’
From the steamy sub tropical savanna of Brasilia we warp to the icy wastes of Spitsbergen, a vast and empty archipelago that lies deep inside the Arctic Circle. This another sample from Vincent’s extensive ‘Space Project’ series.
What could possibly be more real-world Sci-Fi than a row of hi-tech telescopes, nestled in desolation, scanning the universe through convex glass blisters? Well, perhaps only this…
‘Kobian Robot #1 [Takanishi Laboratory], Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, 2010’
We bookend this post with an image taken from Vincent’s ongoing ‘The Man Machine’ series. A fly-on-the-wall, impartial study of mankind’s nascent flirtation with robotics and automatons, It’s both fascinating and strangely moving.
For more on Vincent Fournier, check out his site at www.vincentfournier.co.uk or for visit vice.com for this ‘picture-perfect’ 2011 interview: http://www.vice.com/picture-perfect/vincent-fournier
So that’s that, there and back again. A somewhat disjointed post, or at best a rambling stream of consciousness, still, I hope there’s something you’ve enjoyed.