The Cape Town Artist Making 3D Renders of Our Personal Paradise

Five years ago, Alexis Christodoulou was a copywriter at an ad agency, hating his job and looking for some sort of creative release. Intrigued by a friend using SketchUp, the 3D-modeling program, Christodoulou taught himself how to use it and a whole new world opened up for the Cape Town–based artist. Obsessed, he began putting all of his time into these renderings — desaturated, pastel worlds full of reflective pools, strong shapes, and the best kind of shadow-making light — which evolve from his fondness for architecture and the places he sees around his hometown and his travels.

“The scenes I make are all inspired by my idea of where I would like to retire for an afternoon,” Christodoulou says. “It’s very escapist. I fill the pools right up to the top and mostly use harsh sunlight. I like to blow things out a little. I’m not particularly attached to pastels; it’s just the result of desaturating everything in post. I like to work intuitively, starting with something simple and then adding to it until it makes sense — or until it doesn’t.” We’re a little bit upset we can’t go to all of these places — what with their circular alcoves, pink gradated pool chairs, and so much good draping — but we’re also happy to get lost in our own imagination with Christodoulou’s work.

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