Thursday Salute to Originals: Revising the Past
Since the Industrial Era created a new sense of curiosity for what the future holds, people have been imagining what life would have been like if these new technologies were with us all along. In fact, there has been a rising trend known as “Steampunk” that attempts to encapsulate this exact concept. From conventions to costumes to art, Steampunk has become a popular style and has stirred creators of various media to draw inspiration from the past.
One artist in particular stands out as a good example of an innovator attempting to reinvent the past. Jakub Rozalski, who is also known as “Mr. Werewolf”, utilizes scenes, clothing styles, and themes from late the 19th and early 20th centuries. He imagines, and represents via paint and canvas, a new world that is quite different from the Eastern Europe of this time, though with an eerie sense of familiarity.
The plague that faces the subjects of his work is a “War of the Worlds” style machine takeover. His art tells a story of small peasant towns, often in Poland, that struggle every day to survive as they continue to farm and lead their herds, while also defending against large, mechanical beasts with a mission to take over their way of life. However, often times these machines are used as allies as they help to make work easier. They are seen in lumberyards, docks, and even as means of transportation.
Rozalski has used his talents and creativity to create an alternative universe that followed a very different timeline. These paintings beg the questions, “Where would we be today if we were the victims of a robot apocalypse? Would we have pulled through? Would we have crumbled under their oppression?”. No one can truly say, however, one thing is for certain; Rozalski has successfully managed to create a small world that has piqued our interest and has reminded us how technology could be used as a means of progress, as opposed to destruction. There’s an idea worth saluting!
Image credits: Hi Fructose