How Artist Per Fhager Uses Embroidery to Create Pixel Art

Per Fhager's Embroidered Art Image source:

Normally, embroidery and video games are two worlds that never collide. When you think about it, though, they definitely have some visual similarities. Have you ever noticed how much a single thread looks like a pixel? Swedish artist Per Fhager certainly has. Fhager travels Europe displaying his striking works of art -- embroidered art pieces made to resemble the heavily pixelated games from decades ago.  

The end result is actually rather breathtaking. If I didn't know that these art pieces were canvas covered in colorful thread, I might think that they're particularly low resolution screenshots from retro video games. It's almost hard to believe that these art pieces were made from thousands of pieces of thread.   What I love so much about Fhager's art is that it combines two old-school art styles in a completely new way, creating art pieces that are at once both innovative and nostalgic.  

Pixelated Embroidery Art Image source:

Following Fhager's lead, you can create truly eye-catching embroidery designs for your next set of custom clothing. This could have a particularly powerful effect for businesses that work in the technology field. The pixel-like threads of an embroidery design could serve as a reminiscent throw-back to the 80s when 8-bit video games dominated the industry.  

Some artists who use embroidery view the threads as a weakness of the medium. Threads have a minimum thickness, so it's difficult to create works of art that don't emphasize every individual thread. The intricacy of individual threads can sometimes overwhelm the larger picture. Fhager's style turns this disadvantage into a clever advantage by making each thread a focal point. He celebrates each pixel-like thread by emphasizing the intricate beauty of embroidery.  

Embroidered Art by Per Fhager Image source:

It kind of reminds me of Georges Seurat's famous painting, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The overall picture is certainly beautiful, but what makes the painting so striking is that it contains literally millions of tiny specks of paint.   With the right inspiration, you could transform an article of clothing into a pixelated work of art. Take a black shirt and add aliens to create a tableau from the arcade classic Space Invaders. Interweave a few red and blue threads to create Mario. Add orange embroidery to a shirt to create a pattern reminiscent of Samus Aran's power armor. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination.  

I know that some people dislike embroidery because it's more old-fashioned than screen printing, but Fhager reminds us that just because something is old doesn't necessarily mean that it's gone out of style. You can breathe new life into an old art style but using it in new ways to create gorgeous works of art.  

Per Fhager Artwork Image source:

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