Roberto Benavidez – Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas & Interview

A glimpse of the ethereal here as we focus on Los Angeles based artist Roberto Benavidez and his glorious Hieronymus Bosch inspired Piñatas.

A wondrous weave of both Mexican and Medieval European influences, It’s not often one stumbles across work as fabulously genre-bending.

Intrigued, I contacted Roberto to find out more…

Roberto Benavidez - Bosch Bird no3

You have a wonderfully enchanting style, can you give an insight into your background and route to becoming an artist/sculptor?

I grew up a closeted gay boy in rural South Texas. There wasn’t much available in terms of art education apart from the performing arts so that is the route I pursued initially. I had always been drawn to crafts like sewing, embroidery and collage but it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I began to entertain the idea of pursuing a career as a sculptor. It really coincided with my coming out fully as a gay man and embracing what my true passions were. Over time I’ve moved from clay to metal casting, to paper, mainly sticking to figurative forms.

Roberto Benavidez – Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas

I’d rank your Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas as some of freshest work I’ve seen for a long time, where did the initial idea spring from?

Thanks, that’s very kind of you to say. I’ve had this idea for some time now. I’ve always been a fan of Bosch. The idea of blending this traditional Mexican craft with Bosch’s imagery was quite exciting to me, something a bit outside the typical piñata imagery. There is also the context behind each being rooted in sin so I thought it to be the perfect pairing. I also felt like this bleeding of cultural artistic forms was in a way representative of me as mixed-race.

Adam Makarenko – Exoplanets & Interview

Sci-Fi-O-Rama resurrects with a very special feature on Canadian miniature Photographer and Film Maker Adam Makarenko.

An award-winning multi-talented Artist Adam’s obviously involved with a plethora of supremely interesting visual projects, but it’s his outrageously ambitious ‘exoplanets’ mission we focus in on.

Adam Makarenko Exoplanet

Exoplanets, of course, are rarely out of the news these and the science to hunt them has come along way since the first definitive detection back in 1995 (Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the University of Geneva). Fast forward 22 years and as of the start of April 2017 confirmed exoplanets number over 3,500 and range from huge gas giants right down to worlds a similar size to our own precious Earth.

Just how earth like are these worlds, and are they suitable for life ? These are the tantalising questions cosmologists and biologists face today. To answer is a mammoth technical challenge, not unlike Adam’s endeavour to experiment and construct his vision of these far flung worlds in miniature.

The Model Shop Part 2: Norman Conquest 2066 sculpture by Grant Louden + interview

Norman Conquest 2066 - Grant Louden

After an exceptionally long gap between posts, Sci-Fi-O-Rama finally returns with new material. Apologies for the extended state of dormancy, life gets in the way sometimes.

Let’s then not dwell on the forlorn and instead nuke 2015 with another flyby of master-craftsman and styrene alchemist Grant Louden AKA Betelgeuse.

A quick recap then on what the Betelgeuse workshop is all about. Well in a nutshell Grant takes the finest Two Dimensional 70’s Sci-Fi cover art and literally breathes 3-Dimensional life over them.

We featured Grant’s first mind-blowing evolution of Colin Hay’s this time last year. This time it’s science fiction artisan illustrator Chris Foss is in the crosshairs.

Grant kindly took some time out to tell us more about his latest creation, here’s the feature:

The Art of Ian Miller + Interview

The Art of Ian Miller

Titan Publishing got in touch asking if I’d Interview British Illustrator Ian Miller to coincide with the launch of ‘The Art of Ian Miller’ a 160 page compendium spanning four decades.

The book put together by both Ian Miller and Tom Whyte is loaded with over 300 pieces of Ian’s totally unique work and is backed up with detailed descriptions on the creative process, inspiration and general artistic philosophy. Suffice to say It’s a must-read for any serious fantasy or sci-fi illustration aficionado. Here’s the feature.

Imagine if you will that all of science fiction and fantasy can be mapped to points and places on Earth. Take for example Ridley Scott’s vision of Cyberpunk which blends the shimmering streets of Tokyo and rain lashed gloom of Gotham against a hell like the backdrop of refineries & furnaces, a homage to England’s once mighty industrial North East, the place of Ridley’s childhood.

How then about the Post-Apocalypse? It’s difficult to think far beyond the scrub and desert wilderness of the Australian outback or the charred and tangled rubble of a Los Angeles thereafter nuclear firestorm. Destruction as defined by Messrs Miller and Cameron, it’s a vision that’s been recycled countless times.

Even Tolkien’s middle earth has it’s probable roots in the rolling hills of Lancashire (or Cheshire?), and the foreboding grey of the Welsh Mountains. All this of course re-imagined by Jackson and grand-scaled as New Zealand’s greatest ever tourist advert.

Now then fire your mind skywards and glide far out to sea to a place that only appears on only the most ancient or wildest of maps…

Below some icy archipelago, crowned by impossibly twisted peaks that pierce deep swirling clouds, constantly stirred by fast-moving winds. The cauldron howls.

Descend now through the vortices, time and scale begin to quiver then bend. Suddenly the cloud breaks into a shock wave, colours and form ripple and blur. Welcome to the ultimate gothic netherworld; a place both infinitely ancient and ultramodern in a way that far outstrips steampunk. Here vast towers aeons old form the backdrops as colossal arenas as the Teutonic Knights of chaos battle giant wooden Proto-Mechs, above baroque dragons soar and pulse fire across a nightmare-scape beyond the edge of the imagination…

This is but a taste of the realm of Ian Miller.

The Model Shop Part 1: Star Dwellers sculpture by Grant Louden + interview (with Dan McPharlin)

Grant Louden 'The Star_Dwellers' Interviewed By Dan McPharlin

Welcome to Sci-Fi-O-Rama 2014.

Here we begin with a totally exclusive feature courtesy of both Grant Louden & Dan McPharlin.

So without ado lets hand over the controls to Dan…

Guest post by Dan McPharlin

And now for something a little bit different. Sci-Fi-O-Rama doesn’t normally feature 3D work, but Kieran has kindly handed me the keys and let me loose on his blog to write this guest post on a subject that is very dear to my heart; Sci-Fi model making.

Ever since I first saw that monolithic Star Destroyer swoop majestically into frame in the opening minutes of Star Wars it’s a subject I’ve been fascinated by. While CGI has, unfortunately, all but rendered the model-maker’s craft obsolete in the movies, there are still a handful of talented artists out there burning the torch for this fantastic art form…

Mondo - Empire Strikes Back

Mondo - Holy Mountain

Mondo - The Thing

Mondo - Alien

So then for this piece I’ve grabbed just a taster selection from the Mondo back catalogue, I’ll add some notes on those in a moment, then run the Q& A kindly supplied by Mondo’s creative director Justin Ishmael. First up though here’s some background information…

Mondo is the collectable art boutique of the Alamo Drafthouse. If you’re not familiar with the theatre, it’s a world-renowned cinema eatery and has been named the “best theatre in America” by Entertainment Weekly. The Alamo Drafthouse is based in Austin, TX and there are currently 10 theatres in Texas and Virginia, with plans to expand nationwide. The Alamo Drafthouse derives its reputation from its incredible programming. Mondo creates the poster artwork for special Alamo Drafthouse events (see the examples from the nationwide Rolling Roadshow tour, a yearly event