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Agent Abstracteur: Illustrator Dan Matutina Draws Outside the Lines

Coming across artist and designer Dan Matutina’s illustrations for the first time feels like the first time watching the Jetsons: there lies before you a strangely familiar but ultimately more fun world, transposed to a future tense, space travel and hovercraft for all. Contrary to the heavily contoured space-age vibe, however, many of Matutina’s drawings most readily draw from either portraiture or, more frequently, landscape painting motifs. Mountains, buildings, trees and stars intermittently populate large swaths of space–although the ground is present, Matutina leaves a large chunk of his compositions for sky. The airy and open quality of the images give them impact: the eye is drawn to intimate details, little secrets in the painting, such as the colorful flags in the UN-like plaza the artist drew for Lovaganza.


Dan Matutina for Lovaganza

Dan Matutina for Lovaganza


Google is keen on Matutina’s style, too, getting him to connect stars into futuristic constellations that represent their various products. The vastness of space is always countered in these works by the human presence, taking on the scale of a Chinese landscape painting–sweeping natural views interspersed with minuscule reminders of the human presence. Matutina draws deliciously from so many influences-from Russian constructivism to Kandinsky to the aforementioned Chinese landscape painting- that everyone from the casual observer to the seasoned artist can relate to these illustrations.


Dan Matutina for Google doodles

Dan Matutina for Google


Another fun play in Matutina’s visual vocabulary are the gaming world comparisons that can be drawn. Seemingly futuristic while remaining geometric and low-fi, these scenes could be drawn for video games and in fact are reminiscent of scenes from old school PC game Myst, for example–albeit abstracted, less naturalistic and less human in scale. So kudos to Matutina for creating imaginative scenes of simple forms and color that combine for an overall epic effect.


Dan Matutina's Sur

Dan Matutina’s Sur

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