NOSTALGIC PAINTINGS BY LARS ELLING

by Ariadna Zierold

lars elling, painting, paintings, oil, norway, nostalgia, nostalgic, dark, upper playground

Norway based artist Lars Elling was educated at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts. Elling’s works have been purchased by the Norwegian National Gallery, Trondheim Kunstmuseum, the EU Commission, and Arts Council Norway, and appear in many private collections in Norway and abroad.

lars elling, painting, paintings, oil, norway, nostalgia, nostalgic, dark, upper playground

Elling’s paintings are layered narratives told in a fragmented visual language. He incorporates references to film and photography into his works, letting them impact on the abstract grammar of the paintings. In this way the fleeting photographic image is interpreted through the inert state of the painted image. A subtle interplay of figurative and abstract elements arises in the alternately clearly focussed and indistinct areas of the picture. Nostalgia is often present too, intimated in references to private photo albums, opening for us an enigmatic corridor into a dreamscape of memories.

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NEW DARK WORK BY DEREK ERCOLANO

by Ariadna Zierold

derek ercolano, illustration, illustrations, dark, monochromatic, monochrome, brooklyn, weird, bizarre, surreal, upper playground

Derek Ercolano (previously featured here) is a Brooklyn based illustrator who’s work is super rad. He does a lot of weirdo drawings of random characters, with melting faces and riding hoverboards and basically tripping out in every conceivable way. When you look through his portfolio it’s also cool to see how he’s progressed over the last couple years. His newest stuff is absolutely killing it.

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‘STUDIO VISIT’ BY NICOLAS SASSOON

by Ariadna Zierold

nicolas sassoon, vancouver, canada, gif, gifs, animation, loop, loops, abstract, studio visit, new media, pandora, somber, dark, upper playground

Vancouver, Canada based Nicolas Sassoon has been working on massive GIFs that span the width of a browser and actually require scrolling. His latest work, Studio Visit, depicts a studio space complete with wall panels, a brick fireplace, and multiple LCD screens. Today Sassoon is one of the most interesting artists working in the field of GIF-making and new media. He shows all over the world and has been included in exhibitions at the New Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the New Orleans biennial Prospect.

nicolas sassoon, vancouver, canada, gif, gifs, animation, loop, loops, abstract, studio visit, new media, pandora, somber, dark, upper playground

The body of work Sassoon has been producing there is called Pandora, which is the name of the street where the artist has lived, off and on, for the past four years. The series’ title also refers to small actions that have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences, and perhaps even to the darkness of the Internet. Sassoon’s pared-down aesthetic reflects that somber mood.

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A WORLD OF ALIENATION BY ALEX GROSS

by Ariadna Zierold

alex gross, painting, paintings, los angeles, oil, globalization, commerce, dark, technology, alienation, distance, upper playground

Alex Gross (previously featured here) is a visual artist currently working in Los Angeles, California. He specializes in oil paintings on canvas whose themes include globalization, commerce, great beauty, dark mayhem, and the remorseless passage of time.

alex gross, painting, paintings, los angeles, oil, globalization, commerce, dark, technology, alienation, distance, upper playground

Gross is a master at cutting straight through the lines of code and the technology they’ve created, to reveal the concerning repercussions of our immersion in a world which fosters alienation, dislocation and distance. The apparent pessimism emanating from Gross’ paintbrush is undoubtedly justified and through his art he provides a meeting point where we can all unplug, reconnect with one another and greet tomorrow with fresh perspectives.

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THE UNCANNY BY MICHAEL REEDY

by Ariadna Zierold

michael reedy, photorrealistic, anatomy, surreal, surrealist, anatomical, body, medical, illustration, uncanny, dark, upper playground

Michael Reedy (previously featured here) works with elements of photorealistic anatomy in his drawings that are blended with pop surrealist fare, combining anatomically-precise figures with strange, bug-eyed monsters, Classicist cherubs or geometric designs arranged in the background. Reedy uses his penchant for photorealism to create bizarre and sometimes haunting juxtapositions; we see characters with their internal organs and bones exposed, adding an element of vulnerability to his work.

michael reedy, photorrealistic, anatomy, surreal, surrealist, anatomical, body, medical, illustration, uncanny, dark, upper playground

In his most recent drawings he has revisited the timeless themes of life, death, and the human condition. This new interest in the expulsion and the fall of man has been paired with his prior leanings, which have long been rooted in fringe images of the body, medical illustration, ornamentation, dark comedy, and the uncanny.

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MYSTERIOUS LANDS BY PAOLO PIBI

by Ariadna Zierold

paolo pibi, painting, paintings, painter, mysterious, landscape, surreal, dark, upper playground

Paolo Pibi (previously featured here) lures the mind into wonderfully enchanting and mysterious lands. His poetic imagery is a mix of the familiar and the enigmatic: a fusion of classically-inspired structures and the indefinitely wild. Although the landscapes are unpopulated, there’s a human echo, an air of intrigue in the horizon. These are the landscapes that excite us in our sleep, the golden places we remember dreaming. When we awake, they give our goals a new direction and inspire us to give chase to our curiosities.

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OBSCURE THOUGHTS BY BORIS PELCER

by Ariadna Zierold

boris pelcer, painting, illustration, illustrations, paintings, bosnia, sarajevo, milwaukee, dark, obscure, mood, portrait, portraiture, surreal, upper playground

Boris Pelcer was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia. He is an independent artist & illustrator based out of Milwaukee, WI. He divides his time between working on his personal projects & various commissions. His work has been recognized by both Society of Illustrators &American Illustration.

boris pelcer, painting, illustration, illustrations, paintings, bosnia, sarajevo, milwaukee, dark, obscure, mood, portrait, portraiture, surreal, upper playground

“I can sense the presence of enclosed spaces within my psyche. A hidden collection of obscure moods & thoughts that I can’t quite comprehend. In attempt to better comprehend some of it, I’ve developed this series. It is a stroll of curiosity in search of something insightful, somewhere within the hidden valleys of my psyche.” —Boris Pelcer

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A FORGOTTEN JUNGLE BY DAWID PLANETA

by Ariadna Zierold

dawid planeta, illustrator, illustration, polish, poland, depression, painting, jungle, animal, animals, huge, dark, mysterious, upper playground

Dawid Planeta is a Polish artist who battles his depression by painting. He created an imaginary world where a small man is traveling through long forgotten jungle meeting his weaknesses and fears presented as giant animals with glowing eyes. The vision created by the artist is dark, mysterious, and very beautiful.

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SPIRITUAL AWARENESS BY XIAOYI CHEN

by Ariadna Zierold

xiaoyi chen, china, uk, photography, photographer, photograph, pictures, monochromatic, black and white, dark, landscape, abstraction, upper playground

Xiaoyi Chen currently lives and works in UK and China. She received her MA in photography from the London College of Communications in 2014 and was awarded the LCC/Photofusion Prize. Chen’s work has been exhibited and published internationally.

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Chen’s practice is tied to a natural, oriental aesthetic, influenced by Western abstract art and oriental philosophy. Photography is a personal tool for Chen, used to question broad concepts that migrate from the personal to the philosophical realm. Her recent work focuses on the combination of photography and printmaking, a combination of techniques used to explore beneath the surface of things by simplifying and abstracting; an approach aimed at reviving spiritual awareness and intuition before entering the symbolic nature of what we view.

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