Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

geek art
Jakub Rozalski, 1920 before the storm, 2014. Wikimedia Commons

Art History 101

Geek Art

The geek-art community has an affluent and acquisitive sub culture that has a seemingly insatiable thirst for paintings, models and sculptures.

Pop culture, fantasy literature, comic books, manga, sci fi and cult movies – all of these have contributed to an exponential growth in life-like figures and artwork being made that sell for significant sums.

Visit any international tattoo convention or comic-con and you will see a lot of money being spent on fantasy art and sci fi art. Ron Mueck is a celebrated Australian artist working in the UK. Known for his super-sized, hyperrealistic figures, he actually started his sculpting career making puppets and dolls for the film and advertising world.

geek art

The distinctions between high and low brow taste seems very firmly drawn here. As art historian David Finn points out, the waxworks in Madame Tussauds of London are not considered great art. However accurate and skilled a figure may be, verisimilitude is not necessarily valuable on artistic grounds. Infact Rodin’s reputation was shaken when he was accused of casting The Age of Bronze from life. Critics felt it was too life-like!

geek art

Our cover image at the top of this article is by Polish artist Jakub Rozalski. His epic landscapes, clearly inspired by classical art and techniques, surprise the viewer. Here is a richly coloured pastoral scene of peasant women gathering in the harvest. But what is that in the misty background? Gigantic robots and army cavalry.


It could be argued that fantasy art (sometimes called Fantastic Art) has been around from the earliest times – mythical or folkloric creatures are part of our story-telling heritage, whether that is verbal, written, painted or sculpted.

geek art

Greek Gods, winged horses, griffins and chimeras abound in museums across Europe, but it seems unlikely we will see an Ellen Jewett, or something by the Shiflett Brothers in a museum anytime soon.


Canadian Ellen Jewett describes herself as a natural history surrealist sculptor. Each sculpture is hand-made and finished with locally sourced materials painted on with fingers and brushes only.

geek art

The Shiflett Brothers, Brandon and Jarrod, are based in Texas and call themselves comic book sculpting nerds. They combine their love of art, gaming and comics, selling to a huge fan base.

geek art

Fantasy figures may obsess some, but for others they are not valid artistic statements to be shared in public spaces – hence the arguments that raged over the erection of a statue celebrating writer JRR Tolkien in Moseley in Birmingham, UK in 2012. There were angry scenes at the Council House after a 20 foot statue of Treebeard (designed by Tolkien’s great-nephew Tim Tolkien) was approved. Birmingham wanted to capitalise on it’s links with the iconic writer JRR Tolkien, who grew up in the area. Moseley Bog is said to have inspired his fantasy worlds.

Whatever your opinion of this art form, you can’t really miss it. And maybe we can agree that all forms of sculpture have value, and may have something to share with us about our material and spiritual condition, and what we value.


Candy’s remote, rain soaked farmhouse clings to a steep-sided valley in rural Wales. She raises cats, chickens and children with varying degrees of success. Art, literature and Lakrids licorice save her sanity on a daily basis.

Comments

More in Art History 101

  • 20th century

    Filmmaking is like Painting – Andrzej Wajda as a Painter

    By

    Ladies and Gentlemen, and now I will speak in Polish… – the famous words Polish director Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016) said while receiving an honorary Oscar in 2000 for a lifetime achievement crowned WAJDA, an exhibition revealing Wajda as a painter. Andrzej Wajda is one of the...

  • 21st century

    Damien Hirst’s Butterflies- from Tea-trays to Mandalas

    By

    Damien Hirst – a prominent Young British Artist (YBAs) and now a billionaire – creates sculptures, paintings and drawings. In all of these forms his work challenges the boundaries between art, science and religion. Mandalas is now open at the White Cube Mason’s Yard, London (20...

  • 21st century

    An Introduction to Lee Ufan

    By

    Lee Ufan is a Korean born international artist, whose work is key to the Mono-ha movement. If you have ever been lucky enough to encounter a Lee Ufan in real life you will appreciate its power to bring calm and refresh your view of an object....

  • Foret Lumineuse Foret Lumineuse

    20th century

    TAKIS: the Greek Genius that Altered the Course of Post-war Sculpture

    By

    After Takis’ passing away on 9 August 2019, and with his largest exhibition yet in the UK at Tate, it is important to know about the great Greek artist who changed everything about the way we conceive the sculpture of the second half of the 20th...

  • 21st century

    Nalini Malani – an Introduction

    By

    Nalini Malani (b. 1946) is a brilliant contemporary Indian artist. She is both prolific and internationally acclaimed. “Over an extended career, Malani has been an unremitting voice for the silenced and the dispossessed, most particularly women globally. By alluding to a myriad of cultural references from...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy