Exhibition Exposure – Simon Stålenhag

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Simon Stålenhag is an illustrator who primarily focuses on sci-fi themed pieces.

Where do I even begin?

Let’s start with his stylization. Every piece is like a photograph, they are crisp and clean. Not too many rough or gritty textures, as they are smooth for the most part. Honestly, I appreciate this. It makes an entire piece easier to look at, as a whole. There’s already enough detail in his landscapes and what inhabits them. In fact, the cleaner, smoother textures really gives a sense of distance. The further away something is, the less detailed. Only the textures, though. The real detail comes with the intricacies. Every piece has several little parts to it, especially the sci-fi elements.

Massive machines or mechanical structures inhabit each of his pieces. Always looming somewhere in the distance, be it several dozen feet away or far out in the fog. It really adds a sense of scale to the sizable landscapes. Especially given that only one or two humans populate a piece. And if not people, then some cars. Given the scale of each piece, and lack of population, they truly feel isolated and alone. A place so far from civilization, that mechanical goliaths can only exist there.

Not only that, but every mechanical beast he brings to life is different from the last. Some walk on four legs, some two. Some have none. Some are shaped like people, or aircraft, or something else familiar- and some are simply an amalgamation of amorphous mechanical parts.

Now, onto the color. Most pieces sport a cool color palette. It truly adds to the isolated atmosphere, and compliments the mechanical theme.

Simon Stålenhag is very clearly a master of his craft.