Super Modern Art Heroes: Interview with Josh Siegel

To my generation, superheroes are more than just figures confined to the pages of a comic book, they’re pervasive in our culture and interactions. I feel that art reflects the artist’s culture and their thoughts on their surrounding, so it’s only natural for modern artists to mix classic artistic styles with our beloved superhero culture. Once such artist, Josh Siegel, brings us a terrific set of highly stylized prints that mix Cubism, Superheroes, wit and humor in his Modhero painting series. I had the opportunity to ask him a couple of questions about his work, creative inspiration and artistic style.

Wonder Woman in her Invisible Jet

GAS: Thanks for agreeing answer some questions about you and your art work, so let’s get right to it. Do you work from sketches that you scan or do you work all digitally?

Josh Rogan: I do the majority of my work using Adobe Illustrator. I carry a sketchbook to scribble down thumbnails, as well as do more traditional drawings, but to be true, a lot of what you see went straight from my head to the computer screen.

GAS: You have very stylized pieces, do you have specific artists or artistic movements that you use as a reference point for your work?

Josh Rogan: I’m inspired by all sorts of art. Some pieces develop from me just playing with shapes, but others have more specific influences. For example, The Excalibur one was adapted directly from a Lacoste ad campaign that took my breath away. Havok & Polaris are inspired by tango dancers and sci-fi B-movies. I recently did a personal commission that directly referenced the work of Georges Seurat.

X Men In Europe- Excalibur- Modern Art Style

Josh Rogan: Constructivism, cubism… it’s all loosely juggling around in my head during the process, and may serve as a jumping-off point when I sit down to draw, but it’s often just me free-associating and my biggest inspiration is the character.

GAS: I noticed a tongue in cheek attitude, especially in your pieces featuring Wonder Woman flying her invisible plane and Robin getting his own “Bat Signal”. Were those from requests that you’d taken or your own brand of humor?

Receiving a Robin Signal

Josh Rogan: The characters themselves are often requested by fans, but the concepts and stories going on in the pictures are of my choosing. Sometimes it’s a funny or ironic aspect of the character I want to highlight like Wonder Woman or Emma Frost. Sometimes it’s an intense moment in their continuity I want to underscore (whether it happened on-panel or not) like The New Mutants. And, sometimes, I just want to make them look really cool.

The New Mutant

GAS: Thanks again for answering my questions, I’m excited to see what other superheroes are given a “Modern Hero” makeover.

Any suggestions from our readers about who you’d like Josh to draw next? Have you run across any other artists doing work in a similar vein? Let us know!