Travel

[NSFW] Enter a Surreal Dream with These Sensual Hand-Painted Photographs

Shae Detar turns the world into a magical world populated by nature-frolicking goddesses.
April 23, 2017, 11:45am
Another World. All images courtesy the artist

Entering into the fantastical world of Shae Detar feels a bit like entering another dimension. Hair becomes impossible shades of red and sands turn the color of salmon. Nude women float down rivers or oblivious of each other, against trees so tall you can't see the sky.

Each piece takes Detar weeks to complete. She begins by scouting locations and then holding casting calls for female subjects. They then spend a day shooting on location where Detar shoots both digital and film. Once she is back in the studio, the artist develops the film and edits her photographs. When she decides on a photograph she wants to paint, she starts printing small and experiments with colors. After deciding how she wants to paint them, Detar will order large, five- to seven-foot-wide prints. She colors the photographs by hand using a unique process of watercolor and acrylic paints. She then applies an isolation coat and layers of varnish to seal.

Windwood Hill

Although online the pieces may appear like they're perfect, Detar says it's much more interesting to see them in real life and look closely at all the proof that it was hand-made. "You see smudge marks and texture and paint," she says, "versus going to a photo show and just seeing a digitally printed out image, something that can be printed a thousand times and will always look the same. But with my work, each piece will always look different because my hands are making it, and it's raw in the sense that it's a human touching the surface of something."

Detar's current process is self-taught—aside from two years in graphic design study at New York's School of Visual Arts—and says it took her years of trial-and-error to develop her unique style of coloring photographs.

Butterfly

"I suppose if I could hope someone would walk away from something I've made, it would be a beautiful thought that they would feel even a fraction of the warmth I feel from looking at my favorite painters' work," Detar says.

Birds

Haruka

Another World

Iceland

Lagoon Svala

DeeTanglewoodMoonlight