MANDEM
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MEDIUM + MESSAGE

We are a transdigital painter. Our workflow originates with digital art techniques, but incorporates traditional mediums in a dynamic workflow that moves between computer and canvas: work may be painted, scanned or photographed, digitally painted/altered, remixed with textures and photographs, printed out, and re-painted multiple times before reaching its final stages. In the end, the majority of our paintings are completed in oils, in a process that integrates digital under-paintings with mischtechnik, glazing, or other painting techniques handed down from the old masters.

The final products are a union of digital and physical medium such that the two become indistinguishable, and this ambiguity of medium is utterly intentional. This is a both-neither art — a cyborg art — half digital and half organic.

There is a definite parallel between our medium and our content. Our work seeks to combine the modern with the mythic, the futuristic with the archaic, the fantastic with the photorealistic, and the illustrative with the conceptual, to create a style we have termed mythpunk.

The work is deeply informed by our academic background in antiquities, mythography, intellectual history, and literary theory — the paintings transform the foundational myths and metaphors of Western culture to hint at a new post-postmodern (and quite often post-apocalyptic and post-human) mythos.

— mandem

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MANDEM is a symbiotic pair of transdigital -punk artists, Maize Arendsee and Moco Steinman, working in both digital art and traditional art mediums such as oil painting, mische technique, mixed media, and acrylics. Our themes include: mythpunk and mythology; steampunk and alternative history; cyberpunk and human-animal-machine hybrids; gothic, horror, and dark fantasy; monsters and chimeras; and queer feminist art. Important visual influences include German Expressionism; influential sci-fi fantasy artists such as Brom and Giger, and traditional painters such as Maxfield Parrish, John Atkins Grimshaw, and the surrealist and visionary movements. Other influences include James Barrie (Peter Pan), Lewis Carroll, Lovecraft and other Gothic Victorian writers; Bertolt Brecht and epic theater (also theater of cruelty and theater of the absurd); Robert Graves, Mircea Eliade, and the great mythographers of the Gilded Age; Jungian philosophy; the ancient Greek and Roman poets — especially Euripides and Ovid; and epic modern myth-makers such as Tolkein, Clive Barker, Guillermo del Toro, George Romero, and Neil Gaiman. Our work has appeared in gallery shows and we have designed album or book art for the Cruxshadows ("Dreamcypher" and "Ethernaut"), Michael Schulman ("Home"), Abney Park ("Airship Pirates" RPG), and we designed the promotional art for the Dragon*Con 2012 Horror/Dark Fantasy Track.