DieselPunk paintings and sculptures
As I’ve written in previous posts, Dieselpunk is a subgenre of science fiction that combines the aesthetics of the diesel-based technology of the early 20th century with elements of either science fiction or fantasy. In the world of Yute and Tocuyo’s Imachinarium, published by Editorial Planeta Perú 2022it is used as an aesthetic to express our capacity of recycling and reconstruction but generally in pop culture (movies, video games, comic books, etc) is often characterized by a blend of Art Deco and retro-futuristic design and often incorporates post-war disillusionment and social upheaval themes. The disillusionment resonates with our time. There is intense concern of people in rich countries on the negative effects of human activity in the environment. This can easily spark apocalyptic ideas, among them, dieselpunk world visions. Just picture the Mad Max series of movies.
Dieselpunk flying wagon – Digital print on archival paper,594mm X 841mm, edition of 10
But my work is not about that. On the contrary, is about hope and the capacity of human ingenuity to solve the problems we face with the use of technology and collaboration. Yute and Tocuyo characters certainly live in a post apocalyptic world, but they are in a quest to rebuild it, and provide a new beginning, although they are not aware of it.
In terms of artwork, dieselpunk often features a mixture of vintage and futuristic elements, focusing on mechanical and industrial design. Many DieselPunk artists draw inspiration from the World Wars and the interwar period, incorporating military and propaganda art elements into their work. Some common themes in dieselpunk artwork include airships, armored vehicles, other forms of futuristic transportation, dystopian cityscapes, and other post-apocalyptic imagery. Dieselpunk artwork is known for its unique blend of historical and futuristic elements and its ability to transport viewers to a familiar and profoundly imaginative world. This works perfectly for Yute and Tocuyo’s aesthetic because the characters exist in a universe (specifically located in the tumultuous Peru) that has survived a terrible cataclysmic event, probably caused by a massive nuclear explosion that wiped out humanity, Terminator-style. Why did this happen? And what is the main character’s role in reversing this situation? That is revealed through the plot of the story, and through their interaction with new and enigmatic characters.
The Dieselpunk Retro Turtle, Digital print on archival paper,297mm X 420mm, edition of 40
The giant dieselpunk Retro Turtle is one of this enigmatic characters, and is clearly inspired in the character Morla, from the Neverending Story (Wolfgang Petersen, 1984), one of my favourite and more influential movies of all times. This is a robotic version of her, inspired in my grand mother, Ana María, who carried her “memories” on her back, as a difficult, yet cherished load. She is old and wise, and gives the main characters the first clue of where to start their dieselpunk oddisey.
The Dieselpunk Atomic Rabbit, Digital print on archival paper,220 mm X 420mm, edition of 20
One of the most important characters in Yute and Tocuyo’s adventures is the Atomic Rabbit. He was very fun to write as he reminds me of Roger Rabbit, from “Who framed Rogger Rabbit” (Robert Zemeckis, 1988) and the Joker villain from Batman. The Atomic rabbit is an agent of chaos, but still, he has an agenda. In contrast to the main heroes of the saga, who love to build the weirdest dieselpunk machines, the Atomic Rabbit loves to destroy them with explosives. He is clearly the most Mad Max-eseque character of this world. In this painting, made with acrylics, and digital art, he is driving a super mecha robot which he’ll use to “accelerate” the changes he want bring into the Imachinarium. This is the dieselpunk battle armor for a final epic fight.
T)he Dieselpunk Atomic Rabbit, Digital print on archival paper,420 mm X 420mm, edition of 20
Here is a second version of the super battler armor that the Atomic Rabbit will use to confront the Atomic Panda (spoilers) on an epic battle of revenge. I keep the old, rusted, dieselpunk aesthetic with back ground texture and warm colors. I also use as a reference, (as will keep doing in the future), Mecha robots from Japanese anime. I believe this come from the Gundam series, buy I am not completely sure. Japanese artist are clearly the best in this, in creating robotic heroes. The amount of examples is just mind blowing.
Huaype 01, Dieselpunk Atomic long distance vehicle, Digital print on archival paper,420 mm X 420mm, edition of 20
Huaype, the super Dieselpunk traveling machine was built after Yute and Tocuyo met the giant mechanical Retro-Turtle (see above). The Turtle had traveled the Imachinarium for ages and had in her memories a detailed map of all the places she is been. Her walk was slow and constant, her time in the places visited was enduring, so she knew them well. As a present for a mechanical solution that Yute and Tocuyo invented to help her with hear heavy and loud memories, she gave them the memory of her mental map of the world she had traveled. “We will need to build a bigger machine to cover all this distances” thought Yute, and so, they built Huaype, the flying dog. Huaype is also inspired by the Never ending story’s super dragon Falkor, but in a dieselpunk, mechanical version.