ABSURD CREATURES BY STEVE FERRERA

by Ariadna Zierold

steve ferrera, sculpture, creatures, monsters, surreal, berkeley, upper playground

Steve Ferrera received his BFA from UCSC and his MFA from SJSU both with an emphasis in sculpture. His work crosses many disciplines including film, television, stop motion animation, children’s books, and collectible toys. Often inspired by mythology, religion, cartoons, and make believe, his curious and absurd creatures exist in their own cosmic events, lurking on the fringes of fairy tale and folklore. He lives in Berkeley California with his one-eyed cat.

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MULTI EYED CREATURES BY TIM MOLLOY

by Ariadna Zierold

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Tim Molloy is a New Zealand illustrator and comic artist, living and working in Melbourne. Since 2006 he has collaborated with writer Adam Lachlan to produce Life on Earth cartoons. Recently he has published two graphic novels, ‘It Shines and Shakes and Laughs’ and ‘Mr Unpronounceable Adventures’.

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PSYCHEDELIC LANDSCAPES BY HIDEYUKI KATSUMATA

by Ariadna Zierold

hideyuki katsumata, colorful, vibrant, psychedelic, mutant, character, characters, monsters, limbs, mythology, creatures, demons, odd, upper playground

Hideyuki Katsumata‘s meticulous and colored works are tinged with a psychedelic aesthetic and invite us into an exuberant universe inhabited by mutant characters and monsters with multiple limbs and eyes, robots, UFOs and dragons. The scenery he has created is influenced by both Asian mythology and manga culture.

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Demons, spirits, and creatures of strange possessions all engaging in odd scenes, erotic activities, and vulgar moments – all abound in Katsumata’s expressive compositions. He fills each piece of work with whimsical colors, brisk line work reminiscent of old comics, and scale that leaves you flipping through for more.

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RAW ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRIS BODILY

by Ariadna Zierold

chris bodily, illustration, ogden, cartoon, cartoonish, creatures, monsters, characters, funny, messy, upper playground

Ogden-based Chris Bodily‘s illustrated and cartoon-like works containing beyond-normal children and and an array of creatures and monsters have been a fixture of the local art scene since becoming a professional freelance artist right out of college, earning him a place in several exhibitions.

chris bodily, illustration, ogden, cartoon, cartoonish, creatures, monsters, characters, funny, messy, upper playground

Bodily’s illustrations are simultaneously raw, funny, messy, cartoonish, and heartbreaking. A big goofy monster holding prescriptions and wanting his heart to be seen with allusions to happiness scribbled on the wall says volumes about the human condition.

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FANTASTICAL CREATURES BY GUO FENGYI

by Ariadna Zierold

guo fengyi, drawing, china, creatures, surreal, abstract, ink, upper playground

Guo Fengyi’s ink drawings of fantastical creatures are completely alive, as might be expected from an artist whose work began with studies of qi, or life-energy. Fengyi was born in Xi’an, central China, in 1942. She obtained her high school diploma in 1962 and found work in a rubber factory. However, severe bouts of arthritis forced her to give up her career at the age of thirty-nine. She turned to alternative medicine in the hope of alleviating her symptoms, and found a new spiritual path in Qi Gong.

guo fengyi, drawing, china, creatures, surreal, abstract, ink, upper playground

She started experiencing visions in 1989, as a result of which she produced large numbers of drawings, first on the backs of pages from calendars, then later on rice paper. She worked with Indian ink and brushes, producing works up to five metres long, drawn with no initial plan in mind, discovering her own creation as she worked. The multitude of delicate lines form ghostly figures, dragons, phoenixes, and faces, sometimes interwoven, smiling and serene or terrifying and monstrous.

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FLOAT PAINTINGS BY WILFRIED GROOTENS

by Ariadna Zierold

wilfried grootens, optical, float, floating, glass, layers, painting, microscopic, creatures, sculpture, upper playground

German artist Wilfried Grootens paints extraordinary figures comprised of dots and tendrils sandwiched between dozens of laminate glass layers. These strangely precise optical float paintings take on the form of some fantastic microscopic creatures and are sometimes reminiscent of the photos depicting the milliseconds before a nuclear explosion.

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INNER VISIONS BY EL GATO CHIMNEY

by Ariadna Zierold

el gato chimney, art, street art, mural, painting, animals, creatures, surreal, milan, alchemy, ancient, magic, mirabilia, occultism, folklore, upper playground

Milan based artist El Gato Chimney started his career as a self-taught artist, developing an early interest in graffiti that led to a successful journey into street art. El Gato Chimney has become a prominent presence in leading publications on the subject.

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As the years went by, thanks to the acquisition of new knowledge and the need to continuously improve his technical skills, the artist began to prefer to work in his studio, dedicating his time to introspective research in depicting immaterial things, such as emotions and inner visions.

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Currently, El Gato Chimney’s studies range over a wide variety of subjects, such as alchemy, ancient and modern art, magic, mirabilia, occultism, popular folklore, primitive art and spiritualism.

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ROBOTIC CREATURES BY NATHAN OTA

by Ariadna Zierold

nathan ota, illustration, painting, robots, surreal, characters, creatures, dark, fantastic, upper playground

For years, Nathan Ota has been pursuing new worlds, both dark and fantastic, to explore in his paintings. Ota has used his stand-ins – a blind bird, a drunk monkey, a one-eyed robot lost in the woods – to travel through dreamlands that hold fantasies and tragedies.

nathan ota, illustration, painting, robots, surreal, characters, creatures, dark, fantastic, upper playground

His early influences came from television cartoons, comic books, photographs and punk rock flyers. Classical art never really interested him so he turned to work by artists he could really relate to: Robert Williams, Olivia, Puss Head, Raymond Pettibon. In high school, Nathan always found himself gravitating toward popular culture—then he discovered graffiti. He still dabbled a little in graffiti once he entered Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, but a whole new world of art was unfolding before his eyes with illustration. Ota didn’t know what he wanted to do when he entered college and left it to the hands of the instructors to lead him in some direction. That’s when he became an illustrator.

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ANTHROPOMORPHIC CREATURES BY BRANDON CONSTANS

by Ariadna Zierold

brandon constans, ontario, canada, painting, drawing, objects, anthropomorphic, creatures, collage, upper playground

Ontario-based artist Brandon Constans works in painting and drawing as his mediums of choice. His concentration for the past two years has involved cataloguing pictures and everyday objects, using them to create surreal-looking anthropomorphic creatures and portraits.

brandon constans, ontario, canada, painting, drawing, objects, anthropomorphic, creatures, collage, upper playground

His work draws parallels between objects around him, his own personal history and the stories depicted in art throughout the centuries. His overall style can be described as combining influences from surrealist art, outsider art, and master artists such as Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

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