Tamara Łempicka (1898-1980), known as Tamara de Lempicka, was a Polish artist who lived in Paris between the world wars and relocated to the United States in 1939.
Her breakthrough came at the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, which gave its name to the Art Deco movement. She exhibited her paintings in two of the exhibition’s venues, where they were spotted by journalists from Harper’s Bazaar and other fashion magazines. Exhibitions in Italy and the United States followed.
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Maciej Rebisz is the man behind Space That Never Was, which imagines the Space Race didn’t end. Spacecraft based on the Apollo mission that first landed men on the Moon now travel to Venus. The Soviets reached the Moon. There are crewed missions to Mars. Private space companies flourish. The people of Earth, as Rebisz puts it, have “never stopped dreaming big and aiming high.”
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Ulric Leprovost is a French artist with an unmistakable style of his own. I’ve picked the most steampunk-looking pieces from his portfolio.
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In late 2008, GCSociety launched its largest competition to date called “Steampunk: Myths and Legends”. There was $22,000 in prize money for artists to render traditional myths and legends in the steampunk style, “using elements of gears, springs, brass and steam power.”
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Darek Zabrocki is a concept artist from Poland who has worked on such projects as the video game Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and the movie Maze Runner. There are also a few steam- and dieselpunk pieces among his personal artworks.
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Didier Graffet is a steampunk artist who is quite well known in his native France but far less so in the English-speaking world. That ought to change; his paintings are gorgeous.
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Mike Doscher is an American artist who specialized in Weird War imagery. He is the co-author of Spacecraft of the First World War, an illustrated guide to the giant spaceships fielded by the empires of Earth in their conquest of Mars.
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Drew Northcott is a British artist, whose work includes these lovely faux pulp magazine covers.
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Tom McGrath writes he decided to become an artist when he heard they all drink too much absinthe, cut their own ears off and only make money after they’re dead.
Let’s hope he does better than that! We’re certainly fond of his steampunk work.
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If there is a perfect dieselpunk video game, it must be BioShock (our review here). It has several of the genre’s major influences (Art Deco, Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, dystopian fiction like Nineteen Eighty-Four, Hugh Ferriss, the Red Scare and Jazz) as well as tropes (the lone hero fighting the system, mind control).
It’s the BioShock aesthetic, though, that is the most evocative.
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