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Artist Uses Age-Old Technique to Create Photomontages of Surreal Indoor Landscapes

suzanne moxhay photomontage matte painting

The surreal and unsettling landscapes of British artist Suzanne Moxhay are views into apocalyptic worlds made through photomontage. By mixing her own photography with archival images, she carefully crafts haunting tableaus. To achieve the end result, Moxhay uses an early 20th-century technique called matte painting.

Originally used in cinema, artists would paint artwork on glass panels that would then be integrated with filmed footage. The result is a seamless environment that would have otherwise been impossible to achieve in its era of invention. Moxhay brings this theatrical sensibility to her work, with pieces that seem as though they are film stills.

By using traditional cut and paste collage, as well as digital manipulation, Moxhay brings viewers into a world that is slightly off. Small discrepancies betray the falsity of each landscape. “There are discrepancies in perspective; shadows falling in the wrong places,” the artist explains. “I was always interested in that effect in film, where you'd see the action take place in an environment that clearly wasn't real.”

Keeping her work empty, like a stage set, Moxhay leaves spectators guessing about the action set to unfold.

suzanne moxhay photomontage matte painting

suzanne moxhay photomontage matte painting

suzanne moxhay photomontage contemporary art

suzanne moxhay photomontage matte paintingsuzanne moxhay photomontage contemporary art

In this interview, the artist explains her photomontages and how they were inspired by matte painting.

Suzanne Moxhay: Website
h/t: [Colossal]

All images via Suzanne Moxhay.

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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