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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

 

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.

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

NATURE INSPIRED ILLUSTRATIONS BY ZOE KELLER

by Ariadna Zierold

zoe keller, illustration, nature, animals, plants, flora, fauna, intricate, graphite, monochrome, creatures, upper playground

Portland based Zoe Keller is a freelance illustrator known for her realistic, intricate, and nature-inspired illustrations. Zoe is originally from Upstate, New York, attended school at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore.

zoe keller, illustration, nature, animals, plants, flora, fauna, intricate, graphite, monochrome, creatures, upper playground

Her graphite drawings take inspiration from natural forms and creatures, recreating them in highly stylized compositions. Keller’s work renders nature with intricate detail in an elaborate narrative featuring flora and fauna.

zoe keller, illustration, nature, animals, plants, flora, fauna, intricate, graphite, monochrome, creatures, upper playground zoe keller, illustration, nature, animals, plants, flora, fauna, intricate, graphite, monochrome, creatures, upper playground zoe keller, illustration, nature, animals, plants, flora, fauna, intricate, graphite, monochrome, creatures, upper playground zoe keller, illustration, nature, animals, plants, flora, fauna, intricate, graphite, monochrome, creatures, upper playground zoe keller, illustration, nature, animals, plants, flora, fauna, intricate, graphite, monochrome, creatures, upper playground zoe keller, illustration, nature, animals, plants, flora, fauna, intricate, graphite, monochrome, creatures, upper playground

HYPERDIMENSIONAL MACHINE BY DIMITRI DRJUCHIN

by Ariadna Zierold

dimitri drjuchin, moscow, russia, illustration, surreal, bizarre, characters, melting, cartoon, creatures, cartoon, upper playground

Dimitri Drjuchin is an artist/musician who was born in Moscow, but grew up making images and sounds in New York City. Wielding the culmination of human potential wrought from the depths of the bicameral mind, Drjuchin’s art is a hyperdimensional machine that invokes creatures who come bounding forward with affection and recklessness.

dimitri drjuchin, moscow, russia, illustration, surreal, bizarre, characters, melting, cartoon, creatures, cartoon, upper playground

These are not the Icons of the Byzantine Church—they are the new Incarnated Symbols of the Multiverse. Drjuchin allows us a glimpse into a fractulated moment of cultural hypnagogic modality and an opportunity to alter our perspectives of reality.

dimitri drjuchin, moscow, russia, illustration, surreal, bizarre, characters, melting, cartoon, creatures, cartoon, upper playground dimitri drjuchin, moscow, russia, illustration, surreal, bizarre, characters, melting, cartoon, creatures, cartoon, upper playground dimitri drjuchin, moscow, russia, illustration, surreal, bizarre, characters, melting, cartoon, creatures, cartoon, upper playground dimitri drjuchin, moscow, russia, illustration, surreal, bizarre, characters, melting, cartoon, creatures, cartoon, upper playground dimitri drjuchin, moscow, russia, illustration, surreal, bizarre, characters, melting, cartoon, creatures, cartoon, upper playground

FELT SCULPTURES BY PAOLO DEL TORO

by Ariadna Zierold

paolo del toro, sculptures, felt, wood, creatures, cartoon, mask, faces, figures, texture, upper playground

Paolo Del Toro (previously featured here) is a sculptor and two-dimensional artist based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Del Toro’s felt sculptures combine realism with a grotesque cartoon aesthetic, resulting in works that depict bizarre, sometimes nightmarish faces and figures, yet still have a strangely inviting texture.

paolo del toro, sculptures, felt, wood, creatures, cartoon, mask, faces, figures, texture, upper playground

From far away, his sculptures look like they could just as easily be made with ceramic or stone. The artist has also worked in wood, and it’s really interesting to be able to see the similarities between the two mediums in the artist’s portfolio.

paolo del toro, sculptures, felt, wood, creatures, cartoon, mask, faces, figures, texture, upper playground paolo del toro, sculptures, felt, wood, creatures, cartoon, mask, faces, figures, texture, upper playground paolo del toro, sculptures, felt, wood, creatures, cartoon, mask, faces, figures, texture, upper playground paolo del toro, sculptures, felt, wood, creatures, cartoon, mask, faces, figures, texture, upper playground paolo del toro, sculptures, felt, wood, creatures, cartoon, mask, faces, figures, texture, upper playground

A BIOLOGIST’S DREAM BY ANAMARIETTA

by Ariadna Zierold

ana maria, anamarietta, painting, nature, animal, surreal, portraiture, biology, creatures, upper playground

Houston, Texas based Ana María, “Anamarietta” was born and raised in Barranquitas, an agricultural town in the center of the Island of Puerto Rico. Ana studied Animal Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus and graduated in 2005. Known by the local art scene for her Humanoid creatures, Ana’s work has been recognized in multiple cities for the subtle brush stroke and shading of characters that seemed to be taken from a dream of a Biologist with excessive imagination.

ana maria, anamarietta, painting, nature, animal, surreal, portraiture, biology, creatures, upper playground ana maria, anamarietta, painting, nature, animal, surreal, portraiture, biology, creatures, upper playground ana maria, anamarietta, painting, nature, animal, surreal, portraiture, biology, creatures, upper playground ana maria, anamarietta, painting, nature, animal, surreal, portraiture, biology, creatures, upper playground ana maria, anamarietta, painting, nature, animal, surreal, portraiture, biology, creatures, upper playground ana maria, anamarietta, painting, nature, animal, surreal, portraiture, biology, creatures, upper playground ana maria, anamarietta, painting, nature, animal, surreal, portraiture, biology, creatures, upper playground