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James Barnett's Fauxvism: Fallout 3's Megaton meets Matisse

8:30 PM on 06.23.2009 // Joseph Leray

The Internet is a wonderful place -- you can find anything on it, including the results of videogame × Fauvism mash-ups.

Well, let's back up a bit. Perhaps Arizona is a wonderful place, since it's where artist James Barnett lives. From the header image, you can probably tell that he's a painter; and if you're a fan of Bethesda's Fallout 3, maybe you recognize Megaton, one of the game's largest and most memorable venues.

He painted it in the Fauvist style that was spearheaded by early-20th century modernists like Henri Matisse. The name comes from the French word for "wild beast" (un fauve), and the movement rejected realism, opting instead for striking colors and abstraction. Barnett seems to be a displaced Fauve, although his videogame adaptations are uniquely modern in their own right. He explains on his blog:

These aren't from screenshots I found online; I navigated around inside of each of the games until I found a composition I liked, and then made a painting of it. I certainly spend more time in games than wandering the idyllic countryside. There's a whole spiel behind this, starting from frustration at 3D games slavishly imitating real life ... 

Barnett has a number of paintings in his "Fauxvism Series" -- scenes from Grand Theft Auto IV, Fallout 3, Half-Life 2, City of Heroes, and World of Warcraft -- which can be seen here. Prices range from about $100 to over $1000, and Barnett is available for commissions. Some of his older work includes two fantastic pieces of Alyx Vance.

If you want to read more about James Barnett and his art, be sure to check out this fantastic Wired piece from 2007.

Joseph Leray, Former Features Contributor
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Joseph Leray is a long-time features contributor, reviewer, and (self-styled) editor-at-large for Destructoid. He lives in Nashville with a menagerie of pets and a Final Fantasy IX obsession. more   |   staff directory

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