Bizarre or trending subjects? Catch a break with our curiosity of the week. Photographer Justin Hashaw creates “portraits” of spaceships landing in American deserts. An absurd yet fabulous project.

Emblematic figure of pop culture, Aliens have been fascinating mankind for decades. Those somewhat scary and intriguing creatures from faraway planets have filled pages and pages of comics, films scripts and keep on appearing in conspiracy theories. Simple myth or reality? To Texas-based artist Justin Hashaw, those extraterrestrial beings and their spaceships are an endless source of inspiration. He fell in love with analogue photography a few years ago, as he developed a unique approach of the media he defines as “psychedelia infused wanderlust”. “I created my UFO series because of my obsession with high strangeness and surrealism, I wanted to try and make a portrait-like scene of a UFO. I adore the kitschiness of doctored UFO photos and wanted to create my own version of that”, he tells us. A collection of pieces created with digital collage style editing on expired 35mm film.

Mises en scène extraterrestres

Flying over the deserts of the United States, those fake spaceships contrast with the wild landscapes reminiscent of the natural parks of the country. A charming blend of absurd and realism. To build those alien settings, Justin Hashaw was inspired by the covers of Weekly Worlds News, an American fictional tabloid founded in 1997. The magazine has been publishing supernatural and paranormal stories, as amusing as they are unbelievable. “Those covers are so good, they were so striking and if they weren’t so ridiculous they could probably trick you into believing they were real”, the photographer adds. Through his collages, he pays a tribute to the newspaper’s inventiveness, creating thrilling tales of human abductions, as the flying saucers graze the Earth’s ground. “One of my images were recently featured on a cover of Weekly World News, and as a lifelong fan, that was a dream come true”, the artist tells us. An extraordinary collection of intergalactic portraits.

© Justin Hashaw