What first started off as experiments to speed up concept illustration, resulted in surreal, yet familiar environments. The illustrations, at first, don’t seem like paper collage work at all, because the illustrated characters seem to blend in so well with the photographic environments. Once you do realize that it is a collage, it still doesn’t feel out of place that these wonderfully illustrated characters are interacting in these photographs of mid-century rooms.
José Luis Ágreda is an illustrator and comic. He is also a contributor to the newspaper El Pais and magazine El Jueves. I had the pleasure of asking him about his purpose for creating these collage-style illustrations and he explained:
These are just my first attempts, trying to control it. So they are just for me, to play a little, except for the one with the rifle, which was some kind of self-portrait for an exhibition… I used to compile photos for reference, and lately I had a lot of mid-century rooms crying to be fulfilled with characters. The main influence for these are, of course, the Gorillaz stuff by Jimmy Hewllett.
Regardless of why he created these illustrations, they are brilliantly executed pieces. You can see more of Ágreda’s talented illustration work on his website at joseluisagreda.com.