French digital collage artist Mathieu Saunier, who goes by “Khan Nova,” creates compositions as colossal as his name suggests. Inspired by visions of the future from previous decades, Khan Nova fuses together elements of past narratives with current conversations to create otherworldly conjectures. Such images as men and women in vintage ski clothes posed in front of sleek buildings echoing the Great Pyramids of Egypt convey the spirit of Retro-Futurism, in which the contemporary viewer experiences the excitement past generations held for a hyper-modern future.
As opposed to the original views of the future as predicted by the likes of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Isaac Asimov, Khan Nova’s worlds are populated by men and women of a range of ethnicities. Furthermore, while deep space was a major topic for the great science fiction writers of the 20th century, Khan Nova recasts atmospheric exploration as just above the clouds. Set juxtaposed desert landscapes or as the background for people encapsulated, the clouds elevate Khan Nova’s subjects to a higher realm, while also acting as stark reminders of the environmental problems facing humans today. Placing such great focus on the surroundings, while also exaggerating the human scale, Khan Nova seems to suggest life quite literally in the clouds.