Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dieselpunk Art

It seems like on a daily basis there’s more and more wonderful dieselpunk art being created and posted online. In this blog entry I want my readers to take a few moments and to closely examine this particular outstanding work of art by Ukrainian artist Alexey Lipatov, who is a freelance illustrator and comic book artist currently working as conceptual artist in casual games industry. His graphic stories include "Stalin vs. Hitler", "Wild Energy" (sci-fi) and "Hoffmann" (post-nuclear).

("Photo Session" by Alexey Lipatov)

Now I offer a question to my readers: what makes this drawing dieselpunk? There are specific aspects of this creation that makes it dieselpunk.

Leaving aside the fact that it’s a contemporary creation (a requirement of anything to be dieselpunk) it’s without a doubt heavy in decodence. Notice the diesel era mode of dress of the photographer along with his camera. Plus, the details of the vehicle have all of the elements of a diesel era car.

In addition to the strong decodence there are two aspects to this work of art that makes it “punk.” The most obvious is that the car is clearly not a run of the mill Packard. It’s apparently some form of retro-future flying car mounted with jet engines. One could stop here and declare this art dieselpunk but I want to go one step further. There is one other punk component that I find important in this creation, which is the female model.

Contrary to what some might think the fact that the model is nude doesn’t make it dieselpunk. Nudity in photographs and art was around long before the diesel era. What’s distinct here is that the woman’s posture and facial expression is a display of her power and self-confidence. She owns her sexuality and shows no shame over her body. This strong Feminist statement to me adds a strong punk element to Lipatov’s creation.

Alexey Lipatov’s work is an excellent example of dieselpunk art. You can see his more of his fantastic work at


Lord K said...

Very interesting and enlightening review, Larry.
One minor bug, though: the artist's name is Lipatov, not Lipotav or Liptov.

Larry Amyett, Jr said...

Thanks, Lord_K! For both your compliments and your helpful feedback. I've edited the posting to correct the artist name.