Fan Art: Stephen as an ‘American Warrior’ [Slightly NSFW]

Stephen Colbert Fan ArtWelcome to Fan Art, where we highlight the glorious manifestations of Stephen, as rendered by fans and talented artists.


Get ready for classical-style oil paintings heavy with symbolism — but with a modern, digital twist. California-based illustrator Astor Alexander is fond of depicting popular media figures, including comic/satirical heroes like Gervais, Stewart, and Colbert, in Renaissance-looking digital paintings with a lot more than meets the eye. Here is a taste:

© Astor Alexander

© Astor Alexander

A lot more than meets the eye, really – his second Colbert-related work, “American Warrior,” has Stephen in a somewhat racy setting with Lady Liberty, so much so I had to put it after the jump. It’s worth a look see, though. Alexander also kindly answered a few questions about his work for us. Read on to take a look.

"American Warrior"  | ©  Astor Alexander

“American Warrior” | © Astor Alexander

How would you best describe your style of painting?

Astor Alexander: Old-school and obsessively figurative. …more or less.

Someone whose father worked in advertising during the ’60s told me my paintings reminded him of the 60’s style. That was good to hear cause i’m a big fan of the illustration of that time. Those guys were great at making realistic—yet stylish—everyday scenes. I wish I could do that, but I just hate doing backgrounds. Pretty much all my work is focused on bodies and faces. I do experiment with technique. The Colbert painting was my first try at the mixer-brush on photoshop.

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What made you choose Colbert as a subject for your work?

I think I was googling images of Frank Frazetta (google him) while I was watching The Colbert Report. The idea just clicked.

It seems you enjoy depicting comedic personalities (like Ricky Gervais and Colbert) in settings that are heavy with symbolism.  What you are trying to say by juxtaposing a feisty Lady Liberty with a joyous Colbert?

I like to take something that is really serious and epic, then something that’s totally ridiculous, and do some sort of “mash-up”. I had an illustration in which I took the monolith scene from 2001 and replaced the monolith with “the mexican Chuck Norris” and the apes with little monoliths. You know, cause… Chuck Norris is…God. Anyway, I was really proud of that, but no one really seemed to find it funny.

For the Ricky Gervais thing I looked at Renaissance paintings. And for Colbert, it was paintings depicting the American Independence and the work of Frank Frazetta.

About the second part of your question: Actually, in my first sketch it was the other way around. Colbert was a badass warrior (riding an eagle) and Lady Liberty was a scared, half-naked woman with her arms around him—much like every woman in your typical Fantasy art. BUT, I found “big-smile Colbert” to be more interesting to paint, so I switched their roles.

Is satire in your work as important to you as the esthetics of what
you are creating?

I do these “mash-ups” only when I have a good idea. That doesn’t happen very often. So all I have left for the rest of my work is esthetics.

For more information about Astor’s work, check out his site on behance. You can also follow him @AstorAlexander. A big thanks to Astor for sharing his work and answering our questions.

What do you think of Astor’s work? Does it capture “Stephen”? Is “American Warrior” a super-homage to our fearless host or too, say, imaginative? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.