Simon Stålenhag Paints a Fantastic Yet Familiar Future of Machines in Nature


The odd thing about the future is, once it arrives it never seems so futuristic. I mean, how many times have you heard, “Wow, I can’t believe it’s already 2013…”? But look around and it all seems pretty normal. That’s the feeling I get when looking at these seriously impressive paintings by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag. His paintings show a universe much like our own, but beside the everyday humans carrying out everyday activities are massive buildings and machines running on technologies currently unknown.

A Detroit High School, Then and Now

DETROITURBEX Detroit then and now 9

No other American city has been quite so effected by boom and bust as Detroit. A once bustling metropolis famous for being the production hub of the US auto industry, the city is perhaps most famous now for its blocks of abandoned buildings, massive crime and general distopian atmosphere. Detroiturbex is a website dedicated to raising “awareness of the social and economic challenges the city of Detroit faces through photography.” Here they’ve created a shocking series of photographs inside the now demolished Lewis Cass Technical High School, overlaying old photographs over the new. The contrast – from just a few years ago in many cases – is shocking.