Achieving The Ultimate Monolith
Who influences you graphically?
Throughout architecture school I found myself heavily influenced by cinema. Blade Runner, Star Wars, Alien, Metropolis, all pushed the boundaries of cinematography and where films that where key in my understanding of composition, a critical component in producing architectural drawings with clarity.
This brings me to Stanley Kubrick, who’s work would be my greatest influence when producing imagery. In particular, Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. His use of the one point perspective, minimal compositions, colour, mood and atmosphere continue to captivate me. I believe the use of the monolith summarises his brilliance, and is a key precedent in what I try and achieve through my visual representations. A pure, black form, minimal and bare, creating a sense of mystery in every scene it reveals itself. Visual clutter is something I try to avoid in my work and is something I believe to be a key component in the work of Kubrick. I find the clarity in his cinematic compositions are what make his work incredibly powerful and intriguing.
How does the inclusion of an astronaut figure inform the image? From a point of view of scale, atmosphere and intention?
The astronaut I found to be the single element that ties the image together. The viewer is allowed to enter the image through the astronaut, placing themselves within the environment. This strategy helps bring clarity to the image by assisting the viewer in realising the scale of the objects in the environment, helping unveil the sense of awe and surreal qualities I am trying to create.
What is your work process in terms of programs used?
Program use varies across all works.
Some begin as a hand sketch that I then place in Photoshop and Digitally paint over with my Wacom tablet. I tend to post time-lapse videos on my Instagram account (@nick_stath) that highlight the process of my digital paintings.
The more ‘clean’ images are created in Rhino 3D and Rendered in Vray with minimal post production work in Photoshop.
Have you ever thought about animating some of the images into short movies? What would be the effect of this on how we receive the image?
It has definitely crossed my mind! I would love to learn how to animate, it currently isn’t a skill I acquire. The biggest challenge with animation would be how to capture a sense of ‘mystery’. The stills I produce tend to leave a certain amount of imagination to the viewer, so a short film I imagine would have to withhold an ‘ending’ in order to achieve that feeling.
How does a monochromatic palette change the way we perceive the image?
The monochromatic palette becomes apparent when I feel the qualities of light and shadow are crucial in creating a certain mood in an artwork. The black and white tones tend to accentuate the light and shadow, resulting in a more ‘grim’ and ‘dark’ composition which I feel brings a ‘haunting’ element to the image.
Nick Stathopoulos is a Graduate of Architecture and Concept Artist based in Melbourne, Australia. His work focuses on the exploration of ‘Space, Scale, Composition and Atmosphere’. These components he believes are critical in producing work that evokes emotion.