Structura 3: the art of Sparth; Behind the Pixels; The Art of Hotel Transylvania 2.
Art giants such as Sparth remind us there’s still room to experiment, to change and grow as artists, in an industry overtly concerned with the zeitgeist. As Nicolas Bouvier’s (his real name) colossal career rumbles to the outer edges of its second decade, Structura 3 gives us a snapshot of three years of his work.
Three years! In that timespan there’s more craft development, willingness to experiment and pursuit of ideas here than can be found by reading 300 blogs concerned with concept art. Work includes his concepts for 343 Industries’ Halo franchise together with hyper-efficient, 30-minute personal paintings that transport the viewer to ‘the idea’ at warp speed. We also see the artist in a state of transition, with a chapter dedicated to recent experimental and graphic pieces.
Here, Sparth pulls his geometric sensibilities to the fore, abandons textures and achieves value through the layering of flat, graduated shapes. The results are vectored landscapes of new and exotic virtual reality worlds. However, if you want to see those signature paintings of behemoth space-freighters departing landscapes dominated by monolithic structures, this book won’t disappoint.
Another constant in all this change is superb storytelling. Each scene is being spectated by silhouetted figures. Often the characters in these paintings act as scale devices, but they also humanise the paintings making the extraordinary feel almost ordinary. Even when we become the sole viewer, Sparth still conveys a glimpsed moment. It’s as if we’ve been distracted from our routine to look to the sky…
Structura 3 follows the large format of Structura 2, with over 160 pages of full-page artwork .This includes a back section of short practical tutorials (see left), with notes on processes and technique: it’s 22 pages of indispensable insight. In fact, this section is such a gem that it feels a shame to relegate it to the rear of the book. Shorter tips would have been better served as mini boxouts punctuating each chapter, and the more in-depth tutorials could have bookended each chapter.
That quibble aside, Structura 3 certainly delivers on inspiration, and has us looking to the horizon for Structura 4… and beyond.
For pieces such as this Sparth talks the reader through his process in eight revealing stages.
In terms of Sparth’s signature sci-fi structures and space-age art, his new book doesn’t disappoint.