Known for his graphic, architectural illustrations, Italian artist Federico Babina’s latest series, DIRECTPORTRAIT, pays homage to famous movie directors. Rendered in his distinct style of overlaid graphic shapes, each poster-like digital illustration features stylized portraits of world-renowned filmmakers with various film references cleverly incorporated into their facial features and clothing.
To fully immerse the viewer in his inventive visuals, Babina uses elements of “pareidolia”—a term used to describe how the mind can make sense of certain images and perceive familiar patterns where none exists. He explains, “I enjoyed looking and recognizing the profile of famous film directors in the shapes and objects that inhabit their films: it is a simple and effective exercise of creativity and imagination that develops an ‘elastic thought.’” He describes his work as “a metaphor of cinema where every little detail is a key component of the entire mosaic.”
Each of the 31 pieces is made up of cinematographic elements relating to the artist’s subjects. In one piece, Wes Anderson wears various props such as the tennis headband from The Royal Tennenbaums, a pair of Suzy’s binoculars from Moonrise Kingdom, and a pink roomkey from The Grand Budapest Hotel. For Steven Spielberg, his tuxedo takes the shape of the open-mouthed shark from Jaws, a Brachiosaurus from Jurassic Park crawls along his shoulder, and ET’s finger is incorporated into his hairline. Babina explains, “In these illustrations, every director is made of cinema.”
Find more from Babina’s ever-growing portfolio on his website.