Simon Stålenhag, the internationally acclaimed author, concept designer and artist behind Tales from the Loop and Things from the Flood recently produced his beautifully illustrated novel, The Electric State, through a Kickstarter campaign and it was just optioned to be a film.
Simon Stålenhag The Electric State
The Electric State is an illustrated book that re-imagines the American West as a 1997, low tech apocalyptic vision. It tells the story of a runaway teenager and her yellow toy robot as they travel west through a strange USA where the ruins of gigantic battle drones litter the countryside heaped together with the discarded trash of a high tech consumerist society in decline. As their car approaches the edge of the continent, the world outside the window seems to be unraveling ever faster as if somewhere beyond the horizon, the hollow core of civilization has finally caved in.
In mid-December, Deadline reported that the Russo Brothers Studio just won a heated bidding war for The Electric State. Andy Muschietti, who directed one of the year’s biggest hits with It, is negotiating to direct the film. He will produce with Barbara Muschietti. RBS principals Joe and Anthony Russo will produce with them, and their production head Mike Larocca will be executive producer. At least four studios made offers and numerous producers and directors chased it.
In this post, I will share with you several pieces of his artwork from The Electric State book. Like his other work, one doesn’t know if it’s a post-apocalyptic future or an imagined surreal past, but it really doesn’t matter. The arresting narratives suggest a world in which the ordinary is combined with the extraordinary.
Swedish sci-fi artist Simon Stålenhag puts present day people in strange surroundings populated by creatures both mechanical and organic. Reminiscent of the movie District 9, people and aliens seem to coexist in these worlds in which invasions, chaos and destruction appear to be taking place. His imaginative architecture and androids populate ordinary landscapes and freeways, strip malls and parking lots.
One of the most compelling things about these paintings is the presence of the corporate world exemplified by the branding and advertising placed on the buildings and creatures within some of these landscapes. An insight that, in the likelihood of a future coexistence with other beings, would probably prove true.
You can purchase Prints of some of his work here at Red Bubble.
See more of his wonderful work here on his website