Russian duo, Rotten Fantom, is known for its morbid aesthetic – an aesthetic that appeals to our inner goth child. Composed of illustrators Elena Snegotskaia and Vladimir Snegotskii, the duo has gained momentum since launching their creative partnership in 2012, with little over 40k followers on Instagram.
Their black and white illustrations explore existential questions, by tackling themes like life and death, often presented using a set of symbols. “Visual images created by us stem from the subconscious,” the duo shared with Jung Katz. “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.”
Their symbolic language also ties in with their identity as artists. “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 explained. “This was the beginning of something new, it turned out quite symbolic.”
Sticking mostly to black and white, their illustrations present a bleak landscape made of contrasts. Each piece is composed of tiny dots, based on the dot-work technique, which adds soft lines and semi-tones to their images. “We are comfortable with this technique and it enables us to convey the artistic concept,” the note. “We might want to try something different in the future.”
Take a look at a collection of their work in the gallery below: