ByRoAnna Sylver, writer at
Verified Creator. Author of Chameleon Moon, Stake Sauce, and Really Geeky Star Trek Articles. Open Your Eyes, Look Up To The Skies, And See!
RoAnna Sylver
What if Superman was born in the sixteenth century?
And what if the Hulk was a Duke?
How might Van Eyck have portrayed Snow White?

Outstanding (and maybe a little eccentric) artist Sacha Goldberger is asking the hard questions. And now I'm wondering them as well, and it's all thanks to this unique series of superhero portraits, presenting iconic characters in a way I at least would have never thought of. Elizabethan classic art mode, engage!

He's the best bally bugger at what he does, chum
He's the best bally bugger at what he does, chum

The description of this project is as eloquent as it is arcane:

Sacha’s discovery of these characters, which goes back to childhood, gave birth to a desire to re-appropriate them, to take them back to a time forming the cornerstone of modern western art. Sacha wants to confront these icons of American culture with contemporary painters of the Flemish school. The collection demonstrates the use of 17 century techniques counterpointing light and shadow to illustrate nobility and fragility of the super powerful of all times. It also invites you to celebrate the heroes of your childhood.

These characters have become icons to reveal their humanity: tired of having to save the world without respite, promised to a destiny of endless immortality, forever trapped in their character.The superheroes often live their lives cloaked in anonymity. These portraits give them a chance to « fix » their narcissism denied. By the temporal disturbance they produce, these images allow us to discover, under the patina of time, an unexpected melancholy of those who are to be invincible.
As science fiction meets history of art, time meets an inexhaustible desire for mythology which is within each of us.

I have to say I really appreciate the in-depth reasoning behind this series of portraits, even if some of the more involved concepts went a little over my head. (I'm a simple Moviepilot writer, author and all-around geek, but not an art history major. That said, I know awesome when I see it. Pretty sure this qualifies as awesome.)

But I got the part about "fixing their narcissism denied." Superheroism is often a thankless job, especially if you wear a mask and have a mild-mannered secret identity. Nice to see these guys being given their time in the throne. And fancy collars.

You can check out the rest of this talented artist's portfolio here - and as always, if you can, please show them some love. Thanks so much for reading!


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