“Architecture is a visual art and the buildings speak for themselves.” a renowned architect, Julia Morgan once said.
In this case, the quote rings true for this Shah Alam based architect whose Fantastic Four inspired crossover artworks on everyday household items speak volumes at the sheer artistic ingenuity of not only themselves, but of their creator as well.
Munif Abdul Malek said the project was born out of his frustration at the lack of his colouring skills when he was illustrating Marvel’s Silver Surfer for fun one day in November, this year.
“I wanted to make an illustration of the Silver Surfer but I had no idea how to render his silver skin realistically. So I thought, you know what, I’m just going to draw you (Silver Surfer) on a piece of something silver!” the 28-year-old said to TallyPress.
Compensating his lack of colouring skills with mediums that represent each character’s texture, the Ohio born Malaysian had ideas for the remaining members of the fictional superhero team.
But why the Fantastic Four though?
According to Munif, the simple answer to this is visualisation.
“The concept of this series is pretty direct: utilize a single material that can represent a character’s texture, visuals or ability in totality.” he said.
With the characters from the Marvel’s comic series coincidentally fitting the bill due to their straightforward appearances and abilities, Munif designed and created the remaining crossover artworks based on their elements associated with the members of the Fantastic Four.
“Lets say I chose Superman instead and he flies, is fast, has heat & x-ray vision, ice breath and is super strong. How do you find a single material or medium that ties in and associates with all that?” he explained.
Armed with a sharpie, Munif drew the Silver Surfer on an aluminium rectangular hollow section, Dr Doom on a steel C section, Invisible Woman on a transparent glass bottle, The Thing on a rugged brick, Mister Fantastic on an elastic glove, and the Human Torch on a camping lamp.
What about Galactus?
“He hungers. He eats planets for breakfast! There is nothing more suitable to represent him than this : a Pizza box!!!” came Munif’s tongue in cheek reply.
In two weeks time, along with long visits to various hardware shops around Klang Valley, Munif successfully created the crossover – a project, which he says had no time limit and planned direction.
“The drawing process was considerably swift apart from a few hiccups here and there when the mediums simply refused to cooperate with the ink, even if it is an all surface Sharpie.” Munif revealed.
Among the hurdles he faced were drawing The Thing on the crumbling brick along with facing incessant ink absorption issues by the latex glove when illustrating Mister Fantastic.
More stuff in the future?
Munif is definitely not ruling out the possibility of producing another similar series with different characters and mediums which he looks forward to explore.
“I dont set targets for myself. When inspiration comes, it comes. I think I produce my most self satisfying artworks like that.”
That said, the crossover items Munif created has received quite the response, with one netizen even inquiring the price to purchase his work, much to the architect’s surprise.
“Someone saw the collection on Facebook and made serious inquiries about them. So currently we are in the midst of negotiating the figures.”
To view more of Munif’s artworks, head over to his Facebook page.
This article is contributed by Sukhbir Cheema.
Sukhbir is a writer, artist, an avid shutter-bug, a lover of The Beatles and a bookworm. Now, does that make him an insect?