With a long-standing interest in future visualizations at the bivouac, the style and substance of Simon Stålenhag’s illustrations has left quite the impression. Stålenhag’s masterful illustrative technique is remarkable in and of itself, but his unique ability to seamlessly blend the world we know today with new and unfamiliar future technologies makes his work truly distinct.
Stalenhag’s command of visualizations is so powerful that he has created mini-stories that are self-narrative. His Illustrations portrait powerful story arcs on their own without the need of the written word.
Stålenhag is particularly skilled at capturing an expansive sense of scale. He does this through placing large, fascinating, futuristic objects into what would otherwise be commonplace landscapes. This juxtaposition, often accompanied with a remarkable command of lighting and a clarity of focus applied to certain areas of the composition, further enhances a dramatic sense of expansiveness.
Another device Stålenhag uses in some story lines is placing human beings in what appears to be vulnerable contexts when juxtaposed with new forms of technology. Children or parents with children can often be seen navigating a landscape strewn with disused “old future” technologies or avoiding those that seem to be searching for them.
The placement of today’s emergent technology in such matter-of-fact settings and often applying an aged patina to technologies we have yet to come to know is powerful. Work like this can help encourage us to ask important questions about the technology we are bringing into the world at an increasing pace and why we might want to think more carefully about doing so.
To view more of Stalenhag’s work visit: https://www.simonstalenhag.se/