surreal

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with surreal



Illustration

Multi-Dimensional Illustrations Weave Together Mysterious Narratives by Victo Ngai

July 18, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Los Angeles-based illustrator and storyboard artist Victo Ngai produces layered illustrations that reveal elaborate worlds filled with unexpected details. A beautiful expanse of unencumbered nature stands guarded inside a wide-mouthed bullfrog, while a seaside city burns with brilliant flames in the fabric of a heroine’s dress. Each scene inspires the viewer to pause, making sure they haven’t missed a key character that might unlock the work’s tangled narrative. Ngai is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and provides illustrations for clients such as The New York Times and The New Yorker. You can view more of her colorful artwork on Instagram and Behance. (via Booooooom)

 

 



Art

Quirky Portraits by Bill Mayer Imagine Flora and Fauna as High Society Humans

June 28, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Des Fleurs Qui Mordent

Fusing charming portraits of wildlife with the severe trappings of historical costume, Bill Mayer creates darkly fantastical worlds in his detailed gouache paintings. A frog poses in royal dress, a pearl-draped mouse looks ready for a ball amongst massive wedges of cheese, and a rhinoceros stands ready to defend his territory in a suit of armor. The accomplished illustrator lives in Decatur, Georgia and has had a long career as a commercial artist. In an interview with WOW X WOW, Mayer reflected on his concept development:

For me, the most important element of the painting is the concept. The medium you use is just a way of furthering that original concept or finding some elements that add an intelligence to the work. Most of the time I start with small thumbnails which help me sort out the basic visual, a starting place. It probably comes from years of commercial work where you have to show your ideas before you start on a piece… Sometimes I will pull a piece of acetate over a painting and try to figure out what was bothering me and try a few things. Sometimes I will scan them in and use Photoshop, try some things, then go back and paint that way.

The artist continues on to explain that he doesn’t draw much distinction between being an illustrator or a fine artist, and he has only recently begun to show his work in gallery settings. You can see more of Mayer’s vast portfolio, including commercial work and digital illustrations, on his website. (via Supersonic)

The Pathogen

Queen of the Flies

Tulip Head

Cheeseball  

Tortoise and Hare

Land of Plenty (left), The Warrior No. 2 (right)

The Black Sun

Winter’s Muse

 

 



Art Illustration

Fantastical Swirls of Strange Hybrid Creatures Fill Vorja Sánchez’s New Illustrations

June 26, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Insomnia

Spanish illustrator Vorja Sánchez (previously) continues to plumb his imagination to create wildly original drawings and paintings. Constellations of real and invented wildlife, plants, and mysterious critters that seem to be a combination of the two, coexist in the artist’s colorful multi-media illustrations. Sánchez shares his work on Instagram and Facebook, where he also provides details on works for sale and updates on collaborative projects and murals.

Insomnia (detail)

Mediterranean Insects

Mediterranean Insects (detail)

Seaheart

Winter Stroll

Serenity of the Organic Chaos 

La Cosecha

(Untitled)

Invisible Boat (detail)

 

 



Photography

Lovely Photo Manipulations Utilizing Stock Photography by Justin Peters

June 23, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Graphic designer Justin Peters has an uncanny ability to compose fantastical landscapes and creatures by combining stock imagery using Photoshop. The 22-year-old German digital artist says that he’s often driven by the famous Picasso quote “Everything you can imagine is real,” choosing to use photography found on stock imagery sites as the source material for his digital collages. You can see more of his recent work on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Chaotic Swarms of Flowers and Birds Inhabit New Paintings by Collin van der Sluijs

June 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"The last party" (2018), Acrylics, ink and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 70 inches

“The last party” (2018), Acrylics, ink and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 70 inches

In his latest solo exhibition, No ConcessionsCollin van der Sluijs (previously) combined acrylic, ink, and spray paint to produce dreamlike portraits of invented characters who each interact with chaotic elements of nature. A skeleton wearing a small brimmed hat extends a hand to a pair of airborne birds, while a mass of flowers and vines consume the head of a suited figure like a locust swarm. Chaos is also seen in the works without human subjects, such as his work Spring which showcases two rabbits dueling over a roaring flame.

No Concessions runs through June 23, 2018 at Vertical Gallery in Chicago. You can see a combination of van der Sluijs’s street art and gallery exhibitions on his Instagram.

"Swarm" (2018), Acrylics, ink and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 70 inches

“Swarm” (2018), Acrylics, ink and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 70 inches

"Failures 1.0" (2018), Acrylics, ink and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 70 inches

“Failures 1.0” (2018), Acrylics, ink and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 70 inches

"Bloom and decay" (2018), Acrylics, ink and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 70 inches

“Bloom and decay” (2018), Acrylics, ink and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 70 inches

"Spring" (2018), Acrylics, ink and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 110 inches

“Spring” (2018), Acrylics, ink and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 110 inches

Left: “Floater” (2017), Watercolor and Ink on 300 Grams Paper, 24 x 19 ¾ inches. Right: “Trespassing” (2017), Watercolor and Ink on 300 Grams Paper, 24 x 19 ¾ inches

Untitled 07 (2018), Watercolor and Ink on 300 Grams Paper, 8 ½ x 11 ½ inches. Right: Untitled 06 (2018), Watercolor and Ink on 300 Grams Paper, 8 ½ x 11 ½ inches

Install view of Collin van der Sluijs’s solo exhibition “No Concessions” at Vertical Gallery

 

 



Art

Surreal Paintings by Matthew Grabelsky Take the New York City Subway for a Wild Ride

June 12, 2018

Andrew LaSane

New York City is sometimes affectionately (or disaffectionately) referred to as a “concrete jungle,” but for Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Grabelsky it’s more of a big cageless zoo. Using the New York City subway system as the setting for his work, Grabelsky paints surreal portraits of people who are seemingly normal from the neck down, but who have had their heads replaced by animals, both wild and domesticated.

Having grown up in New York and being fascinated by the imagery of Greek mythology as a kid, Grabelsky’s paintings are an exploration of human nature and of the way that animals represent various parts of the human subconscious. “The characters are symbolic of the kinds of thoughts that lie under the surface of people’s minds, and they reveal that the most extraordinary can exist in the most ordinary of everyday settings,” the artist told Prohbtd in an interview. “This theme is communicated through the juxtaposition of these ostensibly irrational images with otherwise completely mundane scenes. My idea is that my creatures are not original but are ultimately part of a much larger cultural continuum.”

Since graduating Cum Laude from Rice University in 2002 with a BA in Art and Art History (and a BS in Astrophysics), Matthew Grabelsky has shown in dozens of group exhibitions and solo shows around the world. In 2017 he was tapped by electronic musician Moby to paint an album cover featuring a father cow reading a book to his calf. To see more of Grabelsky’s work, follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Comical Combinations of Ceramic Animals Form Surreal New Figurines

June 1, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Debra Broz cleverly fuses found ceramic figurines to create comical new animals. From high-fiving horses to boxers with parrot wings, her work exists in the space where familiar and surreal meet. The artist shares with Colossal, “As I look for pieces that match in scale I’m brainstorming: What makes this funny? What makes this strange? How subtle or extreme does an alteration have to be to make someone notice?”

Broz also works as a ceramics restorer, and her professional training and experience gives her the tools to create these seamless amalgamations without making molds or fully recreating the component torsos, heads, and limbs. The Los Angeles-based artist describes her mixed influences of mythology and biology:

I play on the idea of the “mad scientist”, cutting things apart and forming them into something else, like Dr. Moreau or Dr. Frankenstein, but I often find my initial inspiration in the biological world. Some pretty amazing mutations, anomalies and unusual traits have been found in animals over history. “Freaks” have always amazed, but also amused and often frightened people – they are a source of mythology and folklore that is pervasive.

Upcoming projects include a book, scheduled for 2019, and new figurines that branch out to include different materials. You can stay up to date on Broz’s work and see behind-the-scenes on her Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Animal Multi-Tool