VISCERAL ALLEGORIES BY ERIK THOR SANDBERG

by Ariadna Zierold

Erik Thor sandberg, oil, paintings, painting, surreal, upper playground

Erik Thor Sandberg produces oil-on-canvas paintings centered on the expressive, allegorical power of the nude, harkening back to the origins of naturalism in painting and attuned to the history of his medium. Sandberg explores the intimate, uncanny connection between oil paint and human flesh and considers the figure to be painting’s most natural subject matter. Through it, he unflinchingly conveys the complexity of human nature.

Erik Thor sandberg, oil, paintings, painting, surreal, upper playground

Both beautiful and grotesque, the nude men and women populating Sandberg’s compositions are shown in dreamlike states, often suspended in the midst of impending actions: a woman wrestles with a bow-and-arrow; in an allegory for the sin of anger, a man readies a meat cleaver to rid himself of a fly at the risk of chopping off his own foot. These visceral allegories psychologically represent us we are: full of flaws and folly, hope and determination.

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METAPHYSICAL LANDSCAPES BY JIM BUCKELS

by Ariadna Zierold

jim buckels, post modern, surreal, dreamlike, neo surrealist, airbrush, modern, serigraphs, acrylic, fantasy, upper playground

Jim Buckels is a delightful anomaly: An artist more driven by his inner visions than by fashions and trends. Yet, his work possesses an innate sophistication that places it prominently within the post-modern mainstream. In fact, Buckels is a Neo-Surrealist of a peculiarly American Breed: a creator of dream-like images, rendered in a meticulous, modern airbrush technique with the crystalline clarity of a Colonial limner. In his lithographs and serigraphs, as well as in his acrylic paintings, Buckels limns a seamless realm of fantasy that has won him a major reputation in a remarkably short span of time.

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NEON INFUSED ART BY JAMES WHITE

by Ariadna Zierold

james white, photoshop, illustrator, illustration, neon, vaporwave, surreal, signalnoise, neowave, retro, 80s, upper playground

James White was born in 1977 and calls Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada his home. His parents were never able to keep typewriter paper in the house as James would steal it for drawings as early as the age of 4. Upon graduation of highschool he attended a Graphic Design course in his hometown where he was introduced to Photoshop and Illustrator, tools he still uses today. James never stopped creating and working on his own projects that took up his evenings and weekends which resulted in the creation of the Signalnoise Studio.

james white, photoshop, illustrator, illustration, neon, vaporwave, surreal, signalnoise, neowave, retro, 80s, upper playground

Today, James is focusing on various neon-infused art projects, creating some pieces to compliment his childhood in the 1980s. He also spends a lot of time on the road speaking at various design conventions and events around the world.

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SURREALIST AND CINEMATIC TONES BY MAT MAITLAND

by Ariadna Zierold

mat maitland, collage, surreal, surrealist, london, cinematic, abstract, upper playground

Mat Maitland is a collage artist based in London. His images and films have been commissioned by a wide range of clients including Kenzo, Hunter, Interview Magazine, Tate Gallery, and Nike among many others.

mat maitland, collage, surreal, surrealist, london, cinematic, abstract, upper playground

“My aesthetic is pop with overlapping surrealist and cinematic tones. I love to abstract images and place them back together in a different context, which conjures up new ways of looking at things. Print and motion work are my favorite mediums. In different and yet complementary ways, they allow me to explore new dimensions” Mat Maitland

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FANTASY WORLDS BY GILBERT WILLIAMS

by Ariadna Zierold

gilbert williams, new york, fantasy, painting, painter, surreal, space, future, outer space, multidimensional, upper playground

New York based artist Gilbert Williams has been contributing his work to the world since the 1970’s. His work is of fantasy worlds which have a transcendent, visionary touch that keeps the imagination going. Williams’ beautiful, surreal imagery combining Earthly realms with outer space makes for wonderful multidimensional artistry.

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ATMOSPHERIC PAINTINGS BY JULES DE BALINCOURT

by Ariadna Zierold

jules de balincourt, brooklyn, abstract, atmospheric, painting, paintings, saturated, colorful, vibrant, landscape, surreal, upper playground

Brooklyn based Jules de Balincourt (previously featured here) is a French-American contemporary artist. He is best known for his abstract, atmospheric paintings with saturated colors, blurring the line between fantasy and reality. Force-fed on TV and an all-American mind-junk diet, his paintings are crafted with democratic gusto. Evoking notions of utopia and dystopia, de Balincourt’s paintings investigate public and private spaces and suggest an ever-changing landscape – both physical and psychological.

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NATURE AND DREAMS BY SIMON PRADES

by Ariadna Zierold

simon prades, illustrator, illustration, drawing, graphic designer, saarbrucken, germany, surreal, ink, pencil, watercolor, nature, memory, dreams, upper playground

illustrator and graphic designer Simón Prades lives and works in Saarbrücken, Germany and teaches illustration at the university of applied sciences in Trier. He says that he prefers to work with analog mediums such ink, pencil and watercolor to help express his fantastic imagination that explores ideas of nature, memory, and dreams.

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His work is often a combination of detailed and complex drawings and narrative ideas. Depending on the subject his illustrations can also be rough, spontaneous and moody.

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GRAPHITE DRAWINGS BY MIKE LEE

by Ariadna Zierold

mike lee, graphite, drawing, drawings, illustration, volume, monochromatic, monochrome, black and white, artificiality, realism, surreal, abstract, shapes, figures, objects, upper playground, new york city

New York City based Mike Lee’s (previously featured here) graphite drawings contemplate the duality between artificiality and realism by taking everyday normalcies (figures, objects and settings) and working them into their most simplistic forms. Small subjects surrounded by vast white spaces, Lee’s drawings represent fleeting moments in a large world.

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