Jakub Rozalski is a Polish concept artist & illustrator from Krakow. If the name Krakow sounds familiar, you might remember a post I wrote a few months ago on my blog called, “The Cobbler and the Dragon,” in which I tell the mythical tale of the Wawel Dragon.
As for Jakub Rozalski, he first started out on canvas and paper before moving on to a more digitally enhanced medium, not that you’ll notice any difference. His paintings look like they’ve been painted with oils and acrylic. He utilizes a distinct classical approach to painting, which, considering the speculative nature of the themes, imbues his work with evocative imagery.
For Jakub, atmosphere and storytelling are key elements to his process. His paintings tell stories of ordinary people against the backdrop of extraordinary events. His primary source of inspiration comes from classical works of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Below is a small sampling of his tremendous talent. Each image links back to the site of origin. Enjoy!
I’ve long said I have a soft spot for art that combines the ordinary with the extraordinary. In a world where our senses are constantly flooded with high-octane entertainment, super-charged with fantastical and technological elements presented on a grand scale, the art of subtilty has fallen to the wayside.
Jakub revitalized this art. He gives us scenes of ordinary rural life, populated with villagers and farmers, and then, seemingly as an afterthought, he weaves into the tapestry steam-puffing war machines and giant robots. The contrasts in his paintings are almost surreal. I say almost because somehow these war machines also feel like they belong there, that they form a natural part of the rural landscape. And there lies the art of Jakub Rozalski.
Jakub mixes dieselpunk with classical fine art and the result is deeply moving. As a writer, his paintings make me want to write the alternate history they portray. Interestingly enough, Jakub calls this his 1920+ Project which is based on the Battle of Warsaw in 1920 and the Polish-Soviet War.
Of all the artists I’ve had on here, Jakub is definitely a favorite of mine. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.