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The Haunting Art of Simon Stalenhag

Simon Stalenhag is an illustrator and conceptual artist from Stockholm, Sweden.  As most great artists do, he started drawing early.  With encouragement from his grandfather, who was an advertising illustrator, he first started drawing at age 4 using supplies lent to him.  From around age 8 he was hooked on drawing the birds and nature he found all around him during camping trips with his family.

Simon StalenhagMost of Stalenhag’s works depict a sense of isolation and loneliness, often of a single child (or two) lost in a great natural landscape with something mechanical or unnatural lurking in the background.  Stalenhag posits that this stems from a lonely childhood where he often found himself walking to and from school alone.  The creatures, dinosaurs, and robots that populate his paintings are an extension of things that surrounded him as a kid.  But more importantly these menacing mechanical constructs represent the concerns he has with modern technology, how it affects us, how we use it, and how we understand it as a society.  Today’s society is run amok with technology, but very few people have an understanding of how beholden we’ve become to its very existence.

Most of his early painting are landscapes, but as he entered his 20s he became more interested in science fiction concepts and was influenced by classic artists such as Ralph MacQuarrie.  It’s only just recently that he’s started melding nature and the fantastical into the art that people are starting to notice.  Simon is an avid photographer, which helps him hone his skills for the naturalist part of this concept art.

Though Simon Stalenhag has no formal training, he’s built up an impressive portfolio of concept work (see below for examples).  He works almost exclusively in digital.

You can find more of his work at Stålenhag’s official website: http://www.simonstalenhag.se/

Gallery of Simon Stalenhag’s selected works:

About Neal Ulen

Neal Ulen
Editor/Webmaster - Neal is a writer and recovering engineer who likes pizza, the insidious power of sarcasm (and pizza), and debating science fiction (and pizza). You can also find his writing on Omni, Geeks, and other media platforms.