Untitled

This work is untitled and was created by Gaston Pacheco working out of Mendoza Argentina. It's part of a collection that he featured on the site Behance, February 20th of 2017, titled Illustration Vol 6. The illustration is of a barefoot man in sombrero walking through a twilight dessert, feeding the wildlife along his journey. 

 

Background: 

The background is a desert landscape, the sky’s contrasting shades are divided by wavy lines. Near the horizon, a bright sun is setting and rising above it is a large full moon. The base of the Moon is illuminated by the setting sun, but its upper half is shaded.  Like the sky, the desert land is also striped, but here the stripes are vertical and they divide the land into two alternating shades of the same colors, one light and the other darker. Beyond the few boulders and rocks that dot the landscape the desert is mostly flat and barren, extending far back into a thin horizon of gently rising mountains. 

 

Figures: 

There are two primary figures and a couple of secondary Stingray in the image. The main desert is the barefoot man walking through the desert. There's a large brimmed sombrero tilted over his eyes. His jeans are cuffed at the bottom and held by the belt around his waist are two gourds strapped to his back. In his hands is some kind of food that he's using to feed the trio of fish floating around him. Characteristic of Gaston-style the fish have very large ringed eyes, and their bodies are stripped. The second primary figure is the giant stingray, floating off in the distance towards the barefoot man. Its eyes are large like the fish in the foreground. Its wings extend to either side of its body and its tail extends behind it repeating triangles. 


Colors:

The colors of this illustration are cool and of low intensity. The setting sun is by far the hottest point of light, colored bright white. Near the sun the sky at the horizon is colored in shades of pastel pinks and salmons. As the scene moves move higher into the sky, and away from the bright point of the sun, the color of the illustrations start to lose variety and warmth. The colors become cooler shades of blues and purples. At the highest point of the sky, white stars begin to spot the illustration like splattered paint.

The desert land is colored into two shades of the same blue, in alternating patterns of light then dark. The giant stingray and the fish each have blue-gray bodies and bright pink rings around their eyes. The bodies of the wildlife are also accented by a band of blue red and yellow. The fish have this triad band across their spine and the stingray on each of its wings. The barefoot man is the most modestly colored being the same shade of undefined and dingy gray. But he is unique in that the food he carries in his hand is only second to the sun in terms of hot vibrancy. 

Thematic Significance: 

The landscape and the hidden face of the barefoot man evoke a sense of loneliness. That both the sun and the moon are out, combined with the vertical stripes of the land and the horizontal striping of the sky gives the entire image a twilight feeling. The fish and the stingray are not only antithetical to a dessert environment but that they float through it makes the entire illustration feel alien. 

In terms of meaning, I think a key to understanding the design is the parallel between the scene in the sky and the one happening on land. An obvious tie is that both the sky and the land are striated although in opposite directions. Less obvious is that both the sky and the land feature two important figures, that have parallel meaning. In the sky there is the moon and Sun, the moon being much larger than the sun, but the sun being far brighter than the moon, giving value and variety to the image. The sun is a kind of life-giving element in the illustration, and its domain has a high variety of color. But the moon is large and awe inspiring and in its domain is the wonder of star filled space is conveyed. There is a similar relationship between the two primary figures on land, the giant Stingray, and the Barefoot man. The stingray is the largest figure moving through the desert and in it, the alien wonder of the illustration is conveyed. But even the stingray is moving towards the light of the barefoot traveler because in his hand is the only source of light on the land. So in this way, the mystery and awe of the moon and its analog the stingray, are balanced against the vibrancy and illuminating power of the sun and its analog the barefoot man.