surreal

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Art

Pockets of Landscapes and Still Lifes Adorn Subjects in Lavish Portraits by Aniela Sobieski

February 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

Oil on panel, 8 x 10 inches. All images © Aniela Sobieski, shared with permission

Aniela Sobieski is intrigued by “the human impulse to self-decorate,” a fascination that permeates every aspect of her portraiture. Evoking both baroque paintings and contemporary fashions, Sobieski adorns women and the occasional dog with elaborate makeup and sculptural accessories placed conspicuously to mask the subject’s features. She seamlessly maps classic still lifes and sparse landscapes directly onto the sitter’s face, often highlighting the natural shape of the eye and coating the figure’s lips in bold red.

Apparent within Sobieski’s oil paintings is a symbiotic relationship between the subject and their lavish accessories: while a pair of daisies or bucolic scene serve as expressions of identity and emotion, the subject “provides them with an environment,” the artist writes. “It is my hope that these relationships speak to the tendency for nature and the human psyche to mirror each other.”

Sobieski, who is based in St. Paul, has a solo show at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee that’s slated for this October. Until then, follow her poetic artworks on Instagram, and pick up a print from Etsy. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

“Bird Eyes,” oil on panel, 6 x 6 inches

“Daisy Eyes,” oil on linen, 8 x 10 inches

 

 



Art

Fantastical Atmospheres Are Rendered with Dark Impasto Strokes in Digital Paintings by RHADS

February 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Continuation of the Dream.” All images © Artem Chebokha, shared with permission

Impasto strokes in deep shades of blue and gray form the volatile environments that backdrop Artem Chebokha’s surreal works. The Saint Petersburg-based artist, who uses the moniker RHADS, mimics the texture of oil paint in his digital pieces. Situated within heavy clouds and pockets of lightning, elements of unusual scale, like minuscule airplanes or an oversized octopus, create otherworldly atmospheres filled with unpredictable weather and open expanses.

Prints of Chebokha’s dreamy paintings are available on Society6. Head to Instagram to see a larger collection of his pieces, including a 3D shot of the work above, and keep an eye out for his upcoming project that merges art and music. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

 

“A Great Storm Approaching”

“City of Love”

“Floating in the Dark”

“Octosoup”

“The Longing to Air Trips”

 

 



Illustration

Loneliness Shrouds the Peculiar Scenes in Carlos Fdez's Graphite Drawings

January 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Enlarged.” All images © Carlos Fdez, shared with permission

Through rich, brooding illustrations, Carlos Fernández, who works under the moniker Carlos Fdez, encapsulates lingering feelings of loneliness that cloud modern life. The blurred graphite veils each work with a surreal aura, layering the peculiar scenarios of sheep feasting on a wolf and distressed figures with mystery. “More than just being alone, the greatest loneliness for me is that feeling that nobody understands you, that you are only there, sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrifying,” Fdez writes.

The Madrid-based artist is included in an online show at Wow x Wow, which is up until January 29. He sells prints of his introspective drawings in his shop, and you can explore a larger collection of his work on Instagram.

 

“Herd Immunity”

“The Loop Man”

“Plague”

“Black Bile”

 

 



Art

Surreal Scenes and Pixelation Overlay Vintage Artworks in Hybrid Oil Paintings by André Schulze

January 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Paradigm Gallery

André Schulze scours dusty thrift store bins and private advertisements for vintage paintings and photographs created in the first half of the 20th Century. The German artist restores the found artworks and then dramatically alters them by working directly on the canvas, layering each rendering with boldly new scenes: a stodgy bookworm finds himself in a sea of fish, an elderly woman peers out her window only to see a neighboring home ablaze, and a vintage portrait is transformed into a feathered hybrid creature. The surreal additions are steeped in the artist’s distinct wit and humor that expand the decades-old narratives or that shape a rich and complex account within his original non-vintage pieces.

Schulze’s whimsical paintings are included in Salvage, a group exhibition curated by Colossal’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Christopher Jobson at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia. Examining how artists are revitalizing fragments of tradition and culture that were destined to be lost, relegated to the periphery, or buried forever, Salvage opens on January 22 with a live talk with Jobson, Schulze, Debra Broz (previously), and Yurim Gough—tickets are available on Eventbrite—and runs through February 20. Take a virtual tour on Paradigm’s site.

Explore more of Schulze’s revisionary pieces on Instagram and Singulart.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Duplicate Limbs and Unusual Mashups Revitalize Vintage Ceramic Creatures by Artist Debra Broz

January 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Paradigm Gallery

Simultaneously adorable and bizarre, Debra Broz’s porcelain creatures breathe new life into antique knick-knacks. The Los Angeles-based artist (previously) carefully gathers discarded figurines that she separates and reassembles into humorous and unusual sculptures: an entire flock of ducklings balances on just two feet, a hooved cat carries its equine baby, and tree branches sprout from a lounging ballerina.

Broz’s hybrid animals are included in Salvage, a group exhibition curated by Colossal’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Christopher Jobson at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia. Through the work of three artists and pieces from the Recycled Artist in Residency Program, Salvage examines how artists are revitalizing fragments of tradition and culture that were destined to be lost, relegated to the periphery, or buried forever. The show opens on January 22 with a live talk with Jobson, Broz, and artists Yurim Gough and André Schulze—tickets are available on Eventbrite—and runs through February 20. Take a virtual tour on Paradigm’s site.

 

 

 



Photography

A Massive Octopus and Floating Fish Comprise the Imaginary Universe in Ted Chin's Surreal Composites

January 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ted Chin, shared with permission

In Ted Chin’s surreal dreamland, it’s not uncommon to see massive anglerfish swimming through the sky or a figure scooping up shooting stars. The San Francisco-based artist merges idyllic landscapes and outdoor scenes with fantastical details, choosing to upturn an evergreen in mid-air or position an oversized octopus underneath a floating house. Simultaneously uncanny and calming, the composites are eye-catching and rooted in imagination. “There are things in the world that inspire childlike wonder and awe, and it is my passion to recreate and share them with the world,” the artist says.

All of the digital works here, which blend stock images and Chin’s own shots, fall under the scope of Ted’s Little Dream, the fictional universe that the artist created years ago and continues to work within. “Storytelling has always been something that inspired me. When I was in grad school, I was not able to travel as much as I wanted to,” he says. “I’ve always dreamed about visiting different places, to see and experience new things, and to tell stories.”

If you’re a Photoshop user, you’ve probably spotted Chin’s cloudy flamingo work (shown below) as part of the 2021 Photoshop splash screen. To dive further into his meditative universe, head to Instagram, and pick up a print from his shop.