With more than 40k followers on Instagram, Rotten Fantom has made quite a name for themselves. Composed of two Russian artists: Elena Snegotskaia from Saint Petersburg and Vladimir Snegotskii from Moscow, their creative partnership launched at the end of 2012.
“The name Rotten Fantom appeared on December 21, 2012, which is the day of winter solstice and the shortest day of the year when everyone was expecting Doomsday to come,” they recalled in an interview with Jung Katz. “This was the beginning of something new, it turned out quite symbolic.”
Drawn to themes like horror and mysticism, the two create black and white illustrations based on dot-work technique, in which an image is created by lots and lots of tiny dots. According to the duo, this method helps to create realistic images with soft lines and semi-tones. “It is well-suited for conveying people, animals, and plants, and these are often featured in the works of Rotten Fantom,” they explain.
It also adds to the fantastical, surreal feeling that has come to be recognized with their elusive images. “We are comfortable with this technique and it enables us to convey the artistic concept,” they say. “We might want to try something different in the future and works in a different technique will appear.”
According to their website, their artwork explores the human condition – themes like life and death, future and past, personality and absolute. “Visual images created by us stem from the subconscious,” the added in the interview. “Everything we have seen, heard or read is accumulated and recorded somewhere at the back of mind, like an information debit. Afterward, a key phrase (or thought) is enough to make the image acquire a more or less vivid shape.”