Afarin Sajedi’s portraits of women are rarely pretty in the conventional sense or pleasant to look at. One might even call them deformed or strange, appearing almost alien-esque with their large heads and round eyes. Previously featured on our blog, the Iranian artist once described her work as “a little bit science fiction, a little bit realism”, mainly working from her imagination to create her emotive characters.
Today, we live in a universe where astronauts can tweet us their selfies from orbit. It’s hard to believe that not long ago, artists and scientists alike had to use their imagination to envision the starry yonder. Indianapolis artist Mab Graves has often looked to the glorious space illustrations of the 1930s to 1970s for the inspiration of her fantastical dreamland, an ever-expanding universe populated by big-eyed waifs and their animal friends. Featured here on our blog, her sweet and carefree characters have developed a wild streak, where in recent works, they daringly venture into the splendid and infinite cosmos. Graves’ upcoming solo at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia furthers her character’s love for adventure in imaginative new images that blend science and fiction.
In most science fiction stories, the future world is designed to be a hardy and geometric place, able to withstand nuclear disaster and protect its inhabitants, who are probably less concerned about the beauty of their surroundings. South Korean artist Lee Bul’s haunting suspended sculptures seem to defy this design sensibility by interpreting future worlds in a beautiful way.
Alongside Jeff Soto’s “Nightgardens” (covered here), Sashie Masakatsu made his debut solo exhibition at KP Projects/MKG in Los Angeles last weekend with “Blind Box.” We featured Masakatsu’s disaster striken world in HF Vol. 28, where there is no sign of life except for his strange, hovering orbs. As his title suggests, whatever propels them remains a mystery, but their exteriors have evolved to incorporate newly decorative motifs.
Robert S. Connett’s highly detailed and Natural Science-inspired illustrations have acquired a few labels, from strange, fantastical, alienesque, to unsettling. Even his website is “grotesque.com.” If evolution is an artist, then Connett’s artwork captures its unreal color palette and perspectives of worlds rarely explored. His studio in Los Angeles is filled to the brim with specimins, family photos and antiques that serve as reminders of his past and his inspiration. Rarely, if ever, does Connett invite visitors into this private space. In this exclusive interview, we discuss the thought process behind his new works.
Idyllic paintings of daily life set centuries ago are spliced with a dystopian sci-fi fantasy in German artist Jakub Rozalski’s work. Nostalgic elements clash with futuristic ones as giant robots invade the European countryside. Soldiers, armed with rifles and on horseback, are powerless against the mechanical beasts. Unlike much sci-fi inspired work, Rozalski’s paintings have a painterly quality to them that evokes the loose expressiveness of Impressionism. He convincingly inserts the robots into scenes that would otherwise appear straight out of the late 19th or early 20th century, inviting viewers to imagine a starkly different version of history than the one we know today.