Upon first glance of one of Douglas Hale’s work, you’d think you were slipped an acid pill and then traveling down a psychedelic rabbit hole. His work is both gloriously surreal and at the same time magnetic, making it hard to turn your head away.
In a nutshell, Douglas Hale multiplies, extends, distorts, and flips imagery to create phantasmagoric pictures. Having mastered the art of collage, many of his pieces feature include manipulated subjects with ornate jewels and gold and imbue a dream – like sentiment with vivid colors so animated it’ll make you think you ventured into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. From his portraits, it’s evident that Hale loves to bridge music and fashion. Images of musicians such as FKA Twigs, Erkyah Badu, Grace Jones, and model Alek Wek are weaved into his pieces adorning jewels and/or elaborate headpieces against heavily dramatized backdrops. For instance, one of his portraits is of a young Diana Ross clad in full 70’s regalia with big hair and even bigger jewels dangling from her ears before a chartreuse halo in a dizzy galaxy. You can’t help but stop and marvel at the image. Most of his pieces feature women, of several shades and ethnicities, in queenly statures adorning crowns and masks – sometimes their bodies altered. In this instance, he recalls Jean Paul Goode’s days of photographing and re-imaging Grace Jones’ during the singer’s Slave to the Rhythm era.
It’s no wonder Hale is in high demand, having commissioned album covers and merchandise for the likes of Dawn Richard, Tessa Rose Jackson, Imagine Dragons, and Flyleaf. Whether juxtaposing glamorous celebrities against rainbow tinged backdrops dressed in gold with blinding baubles around them or manipulating a kaleidoscopic picture, it’s a trip we love to take with Hale.
See some of the artist’s work below.
To see more of his art, check out DouglasHale.net
Photos Credit: Douglas Hale