DARK SURREALISM BY JOSE LUIS LOPEZ GALVAN

by Ariadna Zierold

jose luis lopez galvan, painting, paintings, painter, mexico, mexican, surrealist, surrealism, dark, cannibalism, creatures, bizarre, upper playground

Mexican surrealist painter Jose Luis Lopez Galvan’s work and fine art develops into dark surrealism, in a world where Velasquez and Hieronymus Bosch could go into ecstasies in front of a version of Rembrandt’s ‘Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp’ with dwarf rabbits.

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Animals and humans inhabit the work of Galvan, fighting for their membership to both bestiality and civilization. Some creatures in between are at the limit of lycanthropia and could easily be affiliated to the universe of American horror writers H.P. Lovecraft and William Hodgson. Some pieces even allude to cannibalism, with a bizarre subtle eroticism. Disturbing compositions, poetic metamorphosis and portraits of femmes fatales complete his work and he is not afraid to promote the odd beauty of nightmares and Freudian subconscious.

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NATURE DARK ART BY DUSTY RAY

by Ariadna Zierold

dusty ray, painting, nature, animal, animals, dark, surreal, wildlife, colorado, upper playground

A painting contractor by day and a self-proclaimed artist by night, Dusty Ray’s (previously featured here) life is paint. Having earned his degree in English Literature from Colorado State University, he says his days as a writer bleed into the small narrative he creates with paint. Dusty’s subject matter mainly consists of the animal wildlife found in his beautiful home of Fort Collins, Colorado.

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GEOMETRIC DEMONS BY ALAN BROWN

by Ariadna Zierold

alan brown, medusawolf, illustration, illustrator, demon, demons, geometric, dark, creatures, characters, philadelphia, upper playground

Alan Brown aka ‘Medusawolf’ is an illustrator living in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated from Delaware College of Art and Design in 2004. Alan uses watercolour and gouache for his paintings. He also makes comics, toys, masks and lots of other fun things.

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He paints portraits of demons, beasts, and robots – each radiating their own agonizing, pulsating energies. These intensely hued dimensions merge bits of insanity, beauty, and humor and crunch it all down into a fun but very warped output.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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