Kustaa Saksi’s imaginary realms

There’s something unsettling and yet almost recognisable about Kustaa Saksi’s alternate landscapes. And it turns out that this is entirely intentional on his part. 

“My illustrations are a syrupy disarray of elements: playful, paradoxical, often over-glossy, inviting, troubling, messy, and yet strangely clear,” he explains, adding that he often combines “organic touches and viscous shapes into new-world psychedelia.”

For the Falter series of landscapes, Kustaa was inspired by the seas surrounding his native Finland. “I’m especially fascinated by dead calm – when the sea stands absolutely still and looks greasy,” he says. You can see all kinds of magical reflections.”

He populated his seascape with organic shapes that look like tangled hair, which he describes as “insects hatching on a shoal”, and striking coloured bars. 

Of the latter, he says: “They are interesting abstract characters, floating alone on the sea.”