Street lights that look like serpents about to strike. Strange, floating platforms for homes and parks hovering above the clouds. Pet spiders the size of dogs. Surreal battle scenes in Matrix-like compounds. Welcome to the “separate reality” of digital artist Alex Andreyev, who creates what he calls “hermetic art”.
While Andreyev’s personal art is indeed replete with esoteric imagery that perhaps isn’t meant to be understood by the viewer, the Russian artist also occasionally has a story to work with – such as in his illustrations for the books The Invincible and Eden by Polish sci-fi author Stanislaw Lem, or his concept art for the animated movie Kin-Dza-Dza.
Threaded through each of his paintings is a pervasive foreboding that culminates, finally, in a quiet sense of horror. Lights on towering spires of scaffolding peeking through the fog next to slum rockets are strange, but the sight of a giant cocoon in a subway is downright terrifying.
Of his style, Andreyev says, “I tried various techniques, including traditional inks, pens, brushes and also experimented with digital art. Now I use Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter, just brushes, no fancy stuff or filters. By using limited toolset I am able to achieve stylistic consistency throughout my artwork.”
“I focus more on expression of my creative concepts than on technology or tools. While working in digital medium, I am free of limitations of traditional tools, such as drying of oil paint, changing of gouache color or etching line width.”