Raphaël Lacoste

di Ivan Quaroni

Born in France in 1971, but living in Montreal since 2002, Raphaël Lacoste has worked in the world of video games as art director of the Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed franchises, and then in the film industry as Concept Artist, Production Designer, and Matt Painter in films such as Terminator Salvation (2009), Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), Death Race (2008), Repo Men (2010), Immortals (2011) and Jupiter Ascending (2015). In his visual universe, landscape plays a central role. Influenced by science fiction and Cyberpunk, but also by Romantic painters such as Caspar David Friedrich and Albert Bierstadt and contemporary photographers such as Greg Girard and Gregory Crewdson, Lacoste has created the imagery of a hyper-technological future where immense vertical buildings, similar to new Gothic cathedrals, rise up next to pristine naturalistic settings. As in the "AI Metropolis" series, which depicts the adventures of a group of explorers on the border between wild territories and immense urban conglomerates. In this union between the natural world and advanced civilization, Lacoste has discovered a new sense of the sublime. No longer the Kantian feeling of dismay generated by the vision of the destructive forces of nature, that of William Turner's storms or Friedrich's "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog," but that which we feel in front of the immense development of human technology and its artifacts: a sublime for the era of the Anthropocene.