Toronto based artist Brian Donnelly (previously featured here) uses turpentine and hand sanitizer to melt the faces of his portraits into rainbow rivers. Inspired by an interest in human identity and vulnerability, Donnelly paints from real life, portraying features of his subjects with realistic precision. These portraits show all kinds of distortions, unsettling mutilations that deny any trace of socially accepted beauty or fragmented facial features that reveal human limitations and speak of vulnerability.
Laura Berger (previously featured here) is a visual artist living and working in Chicago, Illinois. She received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2002. Berger has shown her artwork both nationally and internationally, with exhibitions in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, and New Zealand.
Her existential explorations take place within minimalistic environments, populated by a cast of culturally diverse naked human bodies. These entities are often engaging in spiritually enriching activities, both together and alone, highlight the importance of our basic human connections and the time required to reflect and grow.
Yellena James grew up and attended art school in Sarajevo, BiH. At the age of 18 she moved to the U.S. After gaining her BA in painting and graphic design at UCF, she eventually made her way to Portland, OR. Preferring pens, inks, markers and acrylics, she combines complex abstract forms into dazzling images which take on lives of their own. Her colorful arrangements of organic shapes and tangled lines are at once floral and alien, organic and sci-fi. Each intimate world she creates seems to posses its own ethos and its own special ability to radiate emotion.
“My latest works further explore the intricate and delicate forms of an imaginary ecosystem, twisting and floating together in an alluring environment. I attempt to create an ethereal place which is hypnotically familiar and yet hauntingly exotic, adding tiny little details in a sort of compulsive meditation, until a perfect balance is created. The intricacy and high detail, along with hints of existing organic shapes lend to the intimacy and believability of each new world.” Yellena James
Adrian Cox is a painter living and working in St. Louis, Missouri. Cox attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate studies, and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors in 2010. He obtained his Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2012.
It is through his particular passion for figurative painting that the thematic seeds for his current work were sown. Adrian has placed his focus on disrupting the ways we interpret the man-made catagories which we all resort to using when comtemplating the natural world and our place in it. During the analytic process, he started breaking down and blurring the boundaries between humankind and our surrounding environment. By way of this, Cox was inspired to create his Border Creatures and their home, the Borderlands.
“My work forms an ongoing narrative that mythologizes the lives of the Border Creatures, a fictional race of beings that are defined by their shifting and indeterminate edges. These recurring characters exist in a state of perpetual metamorphosis. Through their mutations, they hybridize with mineral deposits, flora, and fauna, allowing an intense physical connection to their environment. These transformations cause them to take on the characteristics of their surroundings; the distinct categories of man and nature are disrupted as the boundaries between these creatures and their wilderness home, the Borderlands, become obscured. This symbiotic relationship blurs the Natural and the Unnatural, concepts that have been central to a traditional understanding of human identity. My paintings are mythic fictions that speak to a contemporary human experience, and suggest that there is no “pure” way to exist in the world. In the Borderlands, qualities that might be seen as grotesque or monstrous are synonymous with beauty. Ultimately, these paintings create an Arcadia for the Other, for creatures with fluid identities, a space where the language of difference breaks down.” Adrian Cox
Andrea Joyce Heimer (previously featured here) is a self taught painter known for her exploration of the suburban experience, drawing inspiration from the neighborhood mythos of her childhood home in 1980’s Great Falls, Montana. Heimer struggled early-on with feelings of disconnect from her family and community. Her sense of isolation continued into her teens, but by then she’d found comfort in a peculiar activity: observation. Through quietly observing the lives around her Heimer was able to piece together neighborhood tales of madness.
Part allegory part autobiography, her tremendously detailed paintings depict scenes of heartbreak, madness, and the emotional claustrophobia that stems from living as an outsider in one’s own backyard.
Portland, Oregon based artist Betsy Walton uses organic and bright colors resulting in delicate and dreamlike images. Her interests include undersea exploration, psychology, mythmaking, and being in the present moment. She shows her paintings in galleries dotted across the United States and abroad.
Hongmin Lee (previously featured here) creates striking paintings and illustrations. The South Korean artist displays an exceptionally gruesome aesthetic that features some surreal imaginative characters. Lee comes from a diverse creative background, but his work consists of primarily acrylic paintings and drawings, which he exclusively posts to Instagram.
San Antonio, Texas based Jason Limon is a painter who has exhibited his artwork in galleries across the U.S. and in parts of Europe. He studied Fine art and Communication Art in San Antonio and later began working as a graphic designer. His current art follows stories based on mythological creatures and paranormal cryptids portrayed with a hint of humor with a dose of strangeness. You can often see his characters brought to life in dimensional form through his complex sculptures.
Mark Mulroney considers sex and gore as primary means of defiance, and accordingly, guts, exaggerated genitalia, bloody wounds, and well-endowed pin-up girls take center stage in his surrealistic, comic-style paintings and sculptures. By way of explaining the series, Mulroney, who is not known for his discretion, says, “I just relied on my usual methods: put a boner on something or make it bleed.”