Prague, Czech Republic based Romanian artist Ion Barladeanu spent most of his years in the 60’s living on the outskirts of society, depending on other men’s trash and surviving cold nights behind garbage bins. In his spare time, Ion would create amazing pieces that can be described as a mix of Pop art, Surrealism and Dadaism. The hermit-like artist had always kept his work under wraps for a number of reasons. Firstly, he had no one in particular to show it to, and secondly, its often biting political nature meant that while the communist regime held sway in Romania, it had to remain clandestine.
Today we can all enjoy his pieces. Barladeanu sees his works as miniature movies, the act of assembling clipped-out artwork on hand-painted backgrounds akin to the roles of screenwriter and director. While many of his works are infused with comedy or light-hearted satire, others are the stuff of subversive film noir.
Andrew Archer is an illustrator and art director who was born in Auckland, New Zealand and currently resides in Melbourne, Australia. Inspired by pop culture, fashion, surrealism, wood block prints and his time spent in Asia his work is a self asserting mix of hallucinogenic color and rhythmic line.
Istambul, Turkey based Aykut Aydogdu’s work is purely digital, drawn or painted with a tablet in Adobe Photoshop. His work walks the fine line between surrealism daydream and surrealism nightmare.
Aydogdu’s work is stunning in both quality and subject matter. Portraying scenes like a woman’s head impaled by a rose, another woman engaging in a sensual kiss with a decapitated head, and a third atop a toilet seemingly “shitting roses,” the result is both comical, dark, and deeply alluring.
Andrew Fairclough is a Sydney based Illustrator, Designer and Art Director. After completing a Business Degree, Andrew moved on to designing skate and snowboard graphics in between self-instruction and full time work in a design agency.
Andrew’s work is inspired by mid-century spot illustrations and design as well as vintage sci-fi, comics, surrealism, DIY art culture, and the textural wonders of degraded print. Often working with a restricted color palette Andrew’s work seeks to hint at the nostalgia and tactility of found art, whilst also creating something completely new.
New York-based painter David Humphrey works on paper and sculptures defy categorization. He emerged as an artist in the late 1970s along with Postmodernism, an approach that continues to inform his heterogeneous compositions, visual pastiches that, in his words, “erase the breaks” between divergent styles.
In his paintings, this grammar includes gestural abstraction, cartoonish figuration, Pop Art, Surrealism, and Expressionism. His vibrant compositions feature human figures, narrative vignettes, animals, and objects interwoven into abstract passages.
Yosuke Ueno is a self-taught Japanese artist, working in the style of pop surrealism. Born in Japan in 1977, he has been creating his unique and colorful world since his early age, and as a result Ueno’s first solo exhibition was in 1994 in Yamaguchi, when he was just 16 years old.
Weird, creepy but in a beautiful kind of way, Ueno’s art stands out for its interesting juxtapositions and hidden symbolism. Skulls, swans, scissors and amazing characters appear in his paintings, making you wonder what kind of hidden message they all carry.
Machineast is a design directing duo Fizah Rahim & Rezaliando based in Singapore. They focus on rich visual aesthetics for 3D illustration, typography and design. Rezaliando from Malaysia and Fizah Rahim from Indonesia met each other when they were in their mid-teens at the design school they both attended at the time. The connection and mutual understanding between them developed so naturally that it is almost as if they were pre-destined to become best friends, forge a joint career where they are always in constant collaboration and end up founding a creative studio.
They carry out spectacular projects where art and design are in perfect harmony; they maintain a continuous dialogue in a very specific aesthetic language. It is not surprising that their projects explore fields like digital art, 3D art, illustration and art multimedia; they transition seamlessly between abstraction and the dreamlike nature of surrealism; they make it clear – on many occasions – that they are children of the 80’s and passionate lovers of color and music.
Brooklyn-based Clark Goolsby’s imagery often references mortality, the passage of time, and mutable perceptions of space; skulls, body parts, and skeletons are recurring motifs in some of his abstract compositions. His style is characterized by experiments with hard-edge geometry and surrealism, and is also influenced by classical art history and graffiti. In the late 2000s, Goolsby started incorporating different materials into his acrylic on paper works, including collage elements, pen, pencil, spray paint, and markers. More recently, he has created multimedia sculptural installations with string.
Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art. His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, “Pop Surrealism”, dragging a host of followers in his wake. Ryden’s aesthetic is developed from subtle amalgams of many sources, from Ingres, David and other French classicists to Little Golden Books.Ryden also draws his inspiration from anything that will evoke mystery: old toys, anatomical models, stuffed animals, skeletons and religious ephemera found in flea markets.
Ryden’s vocabulary ranges from cryptic to cute, treading a fine line between nostalgic cliché and disturbing archetype. Seduced by his infinitely detailed and meticulously glazed surfaces, the viewer is confronted with the juxtaposition of the childhood innocence and the mysterious recesses of the soul.