An Australian artist known as scadarts (aka mandal0re) creates stately portraits of characters from pop culture with a distinct twist. Each digital collage features the figure donning military attire and posing for a style of portrait formerly reserved for royalty. The images have a historical feel with a muted palette, strong lighting, and tempered brushstrokes that recall the work of the famed painter Caravaggio. But with the addition of Star Wars as well as the Marvel and DC comic universes (and beyond), there is now an air of subtle humor infused in each painting.
Scadarts began creating his cultural mashups in 2019. “The military portraits started with the Ewan McGregor ‘General Kenobi,’” he tells My Modern Met, “which was a play on the meme. It was later reposted which prompted me to make more of them and it’s just snowballed from there.” Scadarts shows no sign of stopping and has continued to consistently pay homage to Star Wars and his favorite movie series.
The mashups are part of a larger interest of the artist. He loves combining subjects that, on the surface, are dissimilar and have them make perfect sense. “I started Photoshopping things on my phone about three years ago as a part of Reddit photoshop battles,” he says. This led him to the pictures he creates now. “These portraits take on average around two to three hours to do. I make them on my iPhone with an app like Photoshop and involve a lot of work on texture layers and lighting to fit into the original pictures.”