Seems as if art and our vivid universe have got more in common that one might think. There’s a link between our mundane world and the outer space, which has been explored not only by scientists but various artists, too.
In fact, English psychedelic folk band Tyrannosaurus Rex–later known simply as T. Rex–plays with this idea in their debut album My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows. The band’s founder Marc Bolan wasn’t a stranger to the anomaly, claiming to have met a telepathic wizard back in the 60s who performed levitation in front of him. And it doesn’t end here–Bolan and his bandmate Mickey Finn have both confessed of encountering UFOs themselves.
Marc Bolan wasn’t the only one obsessing over such supernatural manifestations. Artists like Jimi Hendrix, Kim Wilde and Pink Floyd are also tied to this, whether due to the confessions of experiencing extraterrestrial life or simply putting out music based on the topic.
Yet there’s one artist in particular that audiences have even considered to be a real-life alien and it’s no other than David Bowie. His love for the unknown was obvious: from releasing songs ‘Loving the Alien’ and ‘Starman’ to playing an alien in The Man Who Fell to Earth.
Lithuanian photographer Kotryna Mauragytė explores this interesting phenomenon of obsessing over the other-worldly events in her latest series of photographs, titled They’re Coming. “‘They’re’ stands for the anomalous creatures and the red colour represents the light that UFOs omit,” Kotryna clarifies.
Kotryna then reveals that They’re Coming is inspired by her beloved artists–such as the previously mentioned Bowie, Bolan, Hendrix–and their major interest in the supernatural events. That’s the reason why the photographs have got a vintage feel, representing the angst of older times.
Music’s a huge part of this project and it could even be referred to as the starting point for They’re Coming, but there are more layers to it. “The moon, aliens and likewise things have fascinated me since my childhood days,” Kotryna continues explaining.
Red and black are the only colours that were used in this project. In such manner, Kotryna creates a striking yet visually appealing aesthetic; by using lighting and composition to her own advantage, she captures the hypothetical scenario of encountering aliens quite vividly, letting the viewer experience a different take on the world.
Kotryna also plays with double exposure, layering her photographs with pieces of newspapers and other elements, thus exploring the time when extraterrestrial life first made its way into the mainstream media and was all that the public could gossip about.
“Mixing these different items together,” Kotryna quickly explains. “Makes the photographs look surreal, completely erasing realism along the way.”
In her next photograph, Kotryna captures its subject encountering aliens. Kotryna reveals that this image represents the moment of someone seeing the ET with their own eyes; hence the reference to red colour representing the UFO lights.
This is heavily inspired by officially reported UFO sightings. “When I was doing my research,” Kotryna tells me. “A lot of the stories consisted of people confessing that they felt as if the reality disappeared and lights were driving them insane during their encounter.”
Though the last photograph from the project is much darker and different from the rest, it’s a vital part of They’re Coming, wrapping this part of the story up. “In one way, the hand indicates that the subject’s being abducted,” Kotryna says. “But I’d like for everyone to create their own ending based on it.”
Kotryna worked both behind and in front of the camera lens–the girl in the photographs is Kotryna herself. “Obviously, if I’m making a photography project, I somewhat reflect on myself through the photographs,” she admits. They’re Coming is quite a special body of work for her, because she’s been a UFO believer for as long as she can remember.
Kotryna then opens up that she’s experienced something strange yet similar to what her beloved artists have, but she doesn’t go into much detail and decides to keep it private. “In the end, it felt like a sign of some sorts,” she says. “I don’t know if it actually was something other-worldly, but maybe?”
Although exploring the outer space and its mysteries is based on personal experiences for many artists, they make sure to provide everyone with a medium to experience the mysterious universe as well; you can do so through their art–paintings, songs, photography and anything in between.
Doesn’t matter what’s fiction and what’s not, the cosmos is still something that us, humans, aren’t completely familiar with. Let’s explore it on our own terms, at least for now. Use your imagination, create, investigate your surroundings.
Why not give it a shot?