VINTAGE PHOTORREALISTIC PAINTINGS BY ANNA DI MEZZA

by Ariadna Zierold

anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground

Australian artist Anna di Mezza creates photorealistic paintings based on found vintage photos removed from their original context. Combined to unexpected landscapes, she describes the result as bizarre visual narratives. Her body of work is influenced by found vintage photos, and films, superimposing images on unrelated and unexpected backgrounds to create a visual narrative.

anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground

Her paintings are of a mostly monochromatic palette with occasional pops of color. They invite the viewer to make up the plot in their own mind as if the images were taken from a surreal film frame. The inspiration for the concept of her work is the beauty and culture of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, the artists Magritte and Giorgio De Chirico as well as the film makers Hitchcock, Kubrick and David Lynch.

anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground

POETIC IMAGES BY JOHAN BARRIOS

by Ariadna Zierold

johan barrios, painting, houston, abstract, portraiture, ghostly, monochromatic, dark, upper playground

Colombian, Houston-based artist Johan Barrios‘ work is a universe of images in movement, whose language goes in search of different features of sonorous expressions, synchronic or asynchronous visuals, elements of action, gestures and silhouettes that pierce his paintings as an ascending vanishing line that sequentially runs through every painting so as to make us understand the meaning of interval between one image and the next, which shows us the power that is communicated by the images and the perceptive impact that stems from viewing a painting and the communicational impression it leaves on us.

johan barrios, painting, houston, abstract, portraiture, ghostly, monochromatic, dark, upper playground

This vibe creates a balance with the levity and the lightness of their bodies and with the body of the artist himself, who announces his presence in the painting, not in an explicit way, but rather from the stealthy perspective of someone who is observing in order to put together, quietly and precisely, the outlines of his characters.

johan barrios, painting, houston, abstract, portraiture, ghostly, monochromatic, dark, upper playground johan barrios, painting, houston, abstract, portraiture, ghostly, monochromatic, dark, upper playground johan barrios, painting, houston, abstract, portraiture, ghostly, monochromatic, dark, upper playground johan barrios, painting, houston, abstract, portraiture, ghostly, monochromatic, dark, upper playground johan barrios, painting, houston, abstract, portraiture, ghostly, monochromatic, dark, upper playground

“BODEGA” BY MIKE LEE

by Ariadna Zierold

mike lee, monochromatic, pencil, bodega, narrative, people, places, california, upper playground

Mike Lee was born in 1983 in Placentia, California and is currently living and working in New York City. He is a visual artist and he received his Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design in 2006.

mike lee, monochromatic, pencil, bodega, narrative, people, places, california, upper playground

Alongside his commercial work, Lee finds the time to devote to his own personal artwork and often exhibits his highly meticulous figurative drawings at prestigious galleries throughout the US. Lee is also an active member of RVMP, a collaborative art group. In 2012, Mike self-published his first book, entitled ‘Bodega’, which revolves around the everyday activities of an urban corner store; each hour is represented in its 24 pages and illustrates the daily life of the neighborhood.

mike lee, monochromatic, pencil, bodega, narrative, people, places, california, upper playground mike lee, monochromatic, pencil, bodega, narrative, people, places, california, upper playground mike lee, monochromatic, pencil, bodega, narrative, people, places, california, upper playground mike lee, monochromatic, pencil, bodega, narrative, people, places, california, upper playground mike lee, monochromatic, pencil, bodega, narrative, people, places, california, upper playground mike lee, monochromatic, pencil, bodega, narrative, people, places, california, upper playground

ZOE BYLAND’S HEAD IN THE CLOUDS

by Ariadna Zierold

zoe byland, paintings, monochromatic, portrait, vintage, contrast, animals, memories, upper playground

Zoé Byland was born in Bern, Switzerland in 1975 and currently splits her time between Bern and Vienna, Austria. Her paintings exist within a carefully constructed monochromatic universe; exuding a curious timelessness and imbued with a palpable atmosphere.

zoe byland, paintings, monochromatic, portrait, vintage, contrast, animals, memories, upper playground

Through her protagonists, Byland invites us on a journey into intriguing territory, where past and present collide, providing us with opportunities to explore the relationships that exist between all facets of our cultural experience from high to low, the ways in which we form personal memories and how these serve to alter our expectations and perceptions. The nature of identity is also under scrutiny, as Byland’s characters often appear in disguise, or are partially obscured, inviting us to project ourselves forth, and once again granting us the occasion for valuable introspection and the convergence of philosophical contemplations.

zoe byland, paintings, monochromatic, portrait, vintage, contrast, animals, memories, upper playground zoe byland, paintings, monochromatic, portrait, vintage, contrast, animals, memories, upper playground zoe byland, paintings, monochromatic, portrait, vintage, contrast, animals, memories, upper playground zoe byland, paintings, monochromatic, portrait, vintage, contrast, animals, memories, upper playground zoe byland, paintings, monochromatic, portrait, vintage, contrast, animals, memories, upper playground zoe byland, paintings, monochromatic, portrait, vintage, contrast, animals, memories, upper playground

CREATURE PORTRAITS BY TRAVIS LOUIE

by Ariadna Zierold

travis louie, portraits, characters, monsters, vintage, monochromatic, sepia, creatures, painting, upper playground

Travis Louie was born in Queens, New York in 1964 and is currently living and working in the Hudson Valley area. He paints fascinating portraits which appear to have been unearthed from dusty vaults originating from the bygone days of some 19th century alternative reality. Louie’s portfolio is a truly magnificent archive of monochrome and sepia tinted imagery, all populated with curious characters and charismatic creatures, adorned in their finest Sunday bests; which, one can only assume, were lovingly pulled off the hangers from within their Victorian era closets and worn with pride.

travis louie, portraits, characters, monsters, vintage, monochromatic, sepia, creatures, painting, upper playground

Although Louie’s aesthetic may affectionately borrow from the past, much of the inspiration for his thematic content is very much rooted within his experiences in the present. Being an Asian American and having been exposed to the torment of racism and xenophobia while growing up, Louie imbues his wonderful ensemble of characters with his powerful empathetic emotions, through which they essentially personify a triumphant celebration of our contemporary cultures’ multiracial diversity.

travis louie, portraits, characters, monsters, vintage, monochromatic, sepia, creatures, painting, upper playground travis louie, portraits, characters, monsters, vintage, monochromatic, sepia, creatures, painting, upper playground travis louie, portraits, characters, monsters, vintage, monochromatic, sepia, creatures, painting, upper playground travis louie, portraits, characters, monsters, vintage, monochromatic, sepia, creatures, painting, upper playground travis louie, portraits, characters, monsters, vintage, monochromatic, sepia, creatures, painting, upper playground travis louie, portraits, characters, monsters, vintage, monochromatic, sepia, creatures, painting, upper playground

MYSTERIOUS ARTWORK BY CELI LEE

by Ariadna Zierold

celi lee, drawings, illustration, graphite, monochromatic, nature, abstract, surreal, upper playground

Illustrator and designer Celi Lee works primarily as a motion-graphic designer, but she has always been attracted to print and patterns. Born in Beijing, and a graduate from University for the Creative Arts, she now lives and works in London, where she has undertaken a variety of projects from art-based briefs to commercial website design.

celi lee, drawings, illustration, graphite, monochromatic, nature, abstract, surreal, upper playground

Her drawings are all created with graphite on paper, but Lee also likes to work with different techniques and mediums. She often uses a mix of traditional and digital techniques. Her narrative artworks have a strong connection to nature and different things around her. She combines these influences with a surreal touch of unknown or fictional worlds.

celi lee, drawings, illustration, graphite, monochromatic, nature, abstract, surreal, upper playground celi lee, drawings, illustration, graphite, monochromatic, nature, abstract, surreal, upper playground celi lee, drawings, illustration, graphite, monochromatic, nature, abstract, surreal, upper playground celi lee, drawings, illustration, graphite, monochromatic, nature, abstract, surreal, upper playground celi lee, drawings, illustration, graphite, monochromatic, nature, abstract, surreal, upper playground

DARK INK DRAWINGS BY JON MACNAIR

by Ariadna Zierold

jon macnair, drawing, dark, ink, monochromatic, monsters, upper playground

Portland based artist Jon MacNair’s work is greatly inspired by popular children’s literature, fairytales, and Renaissance art. He is well known for his fantastical, quirky ink drawings, often labeled as “dark”.

jon macnair, drawing, dark, ink, monochromatic, monsters, upper playground

Jon’s drawings of horned monsters and other mythological creatures share an aesthetic with their medieval predecessors but underneath their scary exteriors, are not so different from us: they go sailing, take naps in trees, send each other letters, and have lots of misadventures together.

jon macnair, drawing, dark, ink, monochromatic, monsters, upper playground jon macnair, drawing, dark, ink, monochromatic, monsters, upper playground jon macnair, drawing, dark, ink, monochromatic, monsters, upper playground jon macnair, drawing, dark, ink, monochromatic, monsters, upper playground

ATMOSPHERIC GIFS BY CARL BURTON

by Ariadna Zierold

carl burton, gif, animation, animated, surreal, monochromatic, atmospheric, science fiction, upper playground

Carl Burton creates quick atmospheric GIFs that blend elements of science fiction and surrealism. Glittering illuminated tentacles appear to twist through the dark while neon lasers emerge from deep pools of water. Much of what you see here represents Burton’s personal experiments, but the NYC-based creative also lends his illustrative style to images for long-form publications around the web.

carl burton, gif, animation, animated, surreal, monochromatic, atmospheric, science fiction, upper playground carl burton, gif, animation, animated, surreal, monochromatic, atmospheric, science fiction, upper playground carl burton, gif, animation, animated, surreal, monochromatic, atmospheric, science fiction, upper playground carl burton, gif, animation, animated, surreal, monochromatic, atmospheric, science fiction, upper playground carl burton, gif, animation, animated, surreal, monochromatic, atmospheric, science fiction, upper playground carl burton, gif, animation, animated, surreal, monochromatic, atmospheric, science fiction, upper playground

INTRICATELY DETAILED BOTANICAL-SCAPES BY NICOMI NIX TURNER

by Ariadna Zierold

nicomi nix turner, botanical, symbolism, biological, nature, alchemy, animals, skull, graphite, illustration, drawing, monochromatic, upper playground

San Francisco based illustrator Nicomi Nix Turner is recognized for her intricately detailed botanical-scapes, esoteric symbolism, provocative renderings. She conjures up intricate images which explore biological phenomena and subjects revolving around the arcane.

nicomi nix turner, botanical, symbolism, biological, nature, alchemy, animals, skull, graphite, illustration, drawing, monochromatic, upper playground

Combining her love of nature with a deep fascination for ancient practices belonging to belief systems such as alchemy and religion, Turner constructs narratives within her work which allude to themes of regrowth, biological deconstructionism and the power of belief.

nicomi nix turner, botanical, symbolism, biological, nature, alchemy, animals, skull, graphite, illustration, drawing, monochromatic, upper playground

Her works are created using graphite on paper in a way that has been described as a rare talent for manipulating and “painting” with the basic medium.

nicomi nix turner, botanical, symbolism, biological, nature, alchemy, animals, skull, graphite, illustration, drawing, monochromatic, upper playground nicomi nix turner, botanical, symbolism, biological, nature, alchemy, animals, skull, graphite, illustration, drawing, monochromatic, upper playground nicomi nix turner, botanical, symbolism, biological, nature, alchemy, animals, skull, graphite, illustration, drawing, monochromatic, upper playground nicomi nix turner, botanical, symbolism, biological, nature, alchemy, animals, skull, graphite, illustration, drawing, monochromatic, upper playground

MONOCHROMATIC DRAWINGS BY YEOM JIHEE

by Ariadna Zierold

yeom jihee, monochromatic, drawings, mixed media, symmetry, perspective, upper playground

Korean artist Yeom Jihee‘s monochromatic mixed media drawings feature a disorderly assemblage of figures and impossible objects, set in environments where the physical plane extends into a blank space of nothingness. Jihee uses these explorations of infinity, reflection, symmetry, and perspective to express her feelings of emotional conflict, or in her words, “a loss of self-control due to overwhelming fear.”

yeom jihee, monochromatic, drawings, mixed media, symmetry, perspective, upper playground yeom jihee, monochromatic, drawings, mixed media, symmetry, perspective, upper playground yeom jihee, monochromatic, drawings, mixed media, symmetry, perspective, upper playground yeom jihee, monochromatic, drawings, mixed media, symmetry, perspective, upper playground yeom jihee, monochromatic, drawings, mixed media, symmetry, perspective, upper playground yeom jihee, monochromatic, drawings, mixed media, symmetry, perspective, upper playground