In an era of images often manipulated to within an inch of their lives, we’re used to taking what we see in photographs with a pinch of salt. But one man’s strange snaps go beyond the usual mundane touch-ups, instead creating a fantastically surrealist world that’s sure to stop you in your tracks.
These unique and powerful images have all sprung from the topsy-turvy vision of Martín De Pasquale. And with them, the twentysomething artist and photographer from Buenos Aires, Argentina has naturally captured the attention and imagination of many around the world.
Through his work as a digital artist, De Pasquale has clearly become skilled in using programs like Photoshop, 3DS Max and Poser to manipulate photos and create images that it would be downright impossible to capture in real life.
But instead of using these skills to slim down celebrities or fashion new memes, De Pasquale has put them to practice in one incredible, ongoing photographic project. It’s a project, moreover, that has had people everywhere marveling at their computer screens.
In this venture, in fact, De Pasquale has utilized his technical know-how on the image-manipulation front to create strange snapshots of extraordinary worlds. And the results are quite eye-opening – not to mention somewhat mind-blowing.
The artist often starts by snapping somewhat ordinary selfies, before going on to insert the relatively mundane shots of himself into rather more twisted landscapes and situations. For some, they may bring to mind the playful, surrealist scenes of 20th century art icons Salvador Dalí and René Magritte.
In one image, for example, a tiny version of De Pasquale is seen scything off his larger counterpart’s beard with a miniature lawnmower. In another, his oversized head is dragged unceremoniously along a suburban street.
De Pasquale’s photographs certainly have the impressive dual effect of both wowing you and making you smile. But what, if anything, is he trying to say with these amazing artworks?
Well, many of the images see De Pasquale’s face and body manipulated into sometimes outlandish shapes and forms. Perhaps, then, overall they’re a wry commentary on how a lot of us attempt to change our own features to fit an idealized standard of beauty – whether that’s in photographs using filters and Photoshop, or in real life.
Moreover, maybe there’s some significance to why De Pasquale puts himself at the heart of all these nightmarish scenarios. The artist could be letting the viewer know, in fact, that he is also not immune to these body image worries.
Whatever message De Pasquale wants us to take away from these images, though, one thing’s for sure: it takes time and effort for him to get each of them just right. Before he even steps near a computer editing suite, he must carefully set up each image before snapping it, taking into consideration several different factors to achieve the optimum result.
“In the photo session, the light, the composition [and the] colors must be considered before I proceed to the post-production stage,” The Telegraph has reported him as saying.
Once he has perfectly captured all the different elements that will make up the final photograph, then, De Pasquale moves on to the digital element of the process.
Using 2D, 3D and retouching techniques, he brings everything together into one breathtaking image. Often, several separate parts are layered on top of one another to create the final piece.
And each photo piece is a time-consuming labor of love. Depending on the complexity of the idea, in fact, just one image can take anything from a few hours to several days to complete.
By day, though, De Pasquale flexes his creative muscles as a senior designer for the Buenos Aires-based advertising agency RDYA, where he has worked for more than two years. He has also gained experience as an art director at other ad firms in the Argentinian capital city.
And as well as the surrealist photographs for which he is fast becoming famous, De Pasquale has used his talents to create several other equally captivating digital images over the years.
His previous projects include a striking set of images for Greenpeace highlighting the plight of polar bears in the Arctic. He’s also displayed some stunning urban exploration photography of a ghost town in Argentina.
What’s more, De Pasquale has also proved himself to be quite the talented cartoonist and painter. Indeed, his diverse portfolio of works takes in both oil paintings of animals and birds in the wild and a digitally illustrated graphic novel based on the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel.
For fans of the bizarre and the unexpected, however, it’s De Pasquale’s surreal photographs that will spark the imagination most – and leave them curious as to what other strangely manipulated scenarios he still has up his sleeve.