On the spot: Gal Barkan

Written by Zuza Ciszewska on June 4, 2021

Floating cities, flying cars, and metropolises bathed in the neon lights are the effect of Gal Barkan’s interest in cosmology, science fiction, and all types of music – from classical to heavy metal. Having such a wide range of influences, the artist creates dystopias that show us the possibility of the future’s beauty. He draws us into his worlds, making them both exciting and calm, and we can’t wait for you to explore them too.

Where is and what does your studio look like?

My studio is situated in Tel-Aviv, my main working station includes a desktop computer with a large screen along with a few synthesizers and guitars which are a part of my other passion – creating music.

How did you develop your current art style?

I’ve been creating 3d and digital art for years, from an early age I used to draw a lot of visuals with perspective geometric objects and cities, so the moment I started working with computers and 3d software I knew this was the best medium for me to realize my ideas, the technology in the last few years has reached the point where artists can see almost in real-time every change of light, texture, and object in the 3d scene and this allows for the opportunity to quickly explore many new ideas and directions for each artwork, my own style evolved by starting with simpler scenes, exploring the mood, lighting, post-production, gradually these scenes grew into larger and more complex works which I continuously merge and mix to explore different styles.

How did your career path look like?

I started my career as a 3d visualization artist working in architecture firms, 3d firms, and my own studio for many years, later I became an art director producing and directing commercial arch-viz films, while always creating and developing my own personal projects which many of them have architectural themes combined with sci-fi and fantasy worlds.

CITY NIGHTS
NEON GODS 2

What is your strongest inspiration?

It’s hard to say, I don’t think I have one strong source of inspiration, it’s very diverse, from classic art to sci-fi films to reading lots of sci-fi, fantasy and science books, nature, listening to all kinds of music – classical to prog-rock to electronic music, my inspirations vary according to the styles I create – some of my works are influenced by impressionists and surreal painters, renaissance and modern artists, my futuristic/cyberpunk works were inspired by films such as Blade-runner and visual futurist Syd Mead, and there are many artists posting some great digital art these days on Instagram like Beeple and his daily works which I followed for years, you can always find new and endless sources for inspiration.

On your website, you write about cosmology. What impact does it have on your art?

My interest in cosmology began in childhood, I used to read a lot about the universe, astronomy, and scientific theories, watched the stars through the telescope and was very much into the search for answers regarding the mysteries of our existence, in time I found my place doing mostly visual arts and music, but the interest in cosmology and all those big questions always stayed and found its way into many of my visual and musical creations.

How does music influence your work?

Music has a huge influence on my work, I started playing the piano at an early age and over the years picked up more instruments like the guitar, in many cases when I composed my music it was accompanied with some correlating visual in mind. These days I compose and record in my home studio, through midi programs and synths it’s possible to orchestrate entire symphonies, many of the visuals I create correspond to my musical themes.

My work process is very much influenced by listening to music, for example: when I create fantasy visuals I might listen to classical or symphonic-electronic pieces, when I create a sci-fi cyberpunk work I’ll listen to electronic music, on my dark fantasy works I could listen to heavy metal, surreal and psychedelic artworks well with ambiance electronic and classic prog-art-rock and so on. For me, music and visuals always worked together as one artform.

Coralcity
Skycity

What are the places you create in your works?

The places I create in my works are mostly imaginary although some say they feel like real places on a faraway planet, an alternate universe, or in another timeline on earth.

Is your vision of the future represented by your art?

Partially yes, although it’s mostly imaginary, I think we can already see today a few megacities that may resemble some of these artworks, although I personally prefer the less crowded dystopian visions and more of the harmonious combination of natural elements with the technological urban environments.

What do you enjoy doing when not creating?

When not creating visual art or music I enjoy taking a walk on the beach, the city, nature, exercise, the occasional binging on some tv-series and reading a good book.

What are your biggest dreams as an artist?

I would like to able to dedicate most of my time and energies to creating my art and music, to reach new audiences, merge the visual and musical worlds I create in the form of films, audiovisuals, and other immersive experiences that will provide the audience with the full scale of my works and concepts.

Instagram: @gal.barkan
galbarkan.com
Other Worlds
Markets District

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