The gritty steampunk compositions by Australian artist Max Prentis don't correspond to an era or aesthetic category, but instead meld together visual elements from a multitude of different cultures and time periods. Much like digital artists Nivanh Chanthara and Fred Rambaud, Prentis has created a complete and eccentric dystopian universe through his illustrations. Gangs of colorful cyberpunk characters roam across the relics and rubble of crumbling cityscapes.
His work imagines a cross between Borderlands and a Gorillaz music video. Prentis fills out bold outlines through a bipolar color palette similar to the one used by fellow illustrator Josan Gonzalez, a.k.a., @deathburger. His color wheel swings between warm reds and oranges to cold blues, grays, and purples. He depicts both close up character studies as well as broader depictions of the buildings and vehicles scattered throughout this desolate wasteland. Some images look as though they are carefully arranged and posed, as if the characters know they are being watched, while others look like another frame in the comic book that Prentis never made.
Each image starts simply as ink and paper until it is transferred into Photoshop, where the artist adds color and detail. Prentis will often post works in different stages of completion to show his process and the evolution his compositions go through. In addition to his recreational musings, Prentis has done commissioned work for companies like Nike as well as musicians like Lurch and Chief, Dunerats, and The Babe Rainbow. Check out more works by the artist below: