FLESHY AND GLOOPY CHARACTERS BY GREGORY JACOBSEN

by Ariadna Zierold

gregory jacobsen, painting, surreal, grotesque, flesh, fleshy, colorful, characters, chicago, upper playground

Chicago artist and musician Gregory Jacobsen chooses to render in his awkward acrylic, confidently sensual world flags in butts, shit beaks, and fleshy chunks of meat caught in seemingly intimate moments.

gregory jacobsen, painting, surreal, grotesque, flesh, fleshy, colorful, characters, chicago, upper playground

The candy-coated colors draw the viewer in, only to confront them with a heap of labia coupled with mangy flesh slabs in a chunky meat heap, or a cheery young girl toppled over with a flag stuck in her vagina, a voyeuristic pig smirking behind her. The viewer doesn’t exactly know how to feel, confronted with these awkward, intimate affairs rendered in unsuspecting hues, an effect Jacobsen is after.

gregory jacobsen, painting, surreal, grotesque, flesh, fleshy, colorful, characters, chicago, upper playground

Much like the piles of fleshy, gloopy shapes that walk a fine line between vagina and open wound, the exact purpose of his work is difficult to pin down. Obsessed with failure, ambiguity, and comedic tragedy, Jacobsen appears to care for the characters he creates without fetishizing them.

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REPERTOIRE OF BEASTS BY AMANDINE URRUTY

by Ariadna Zierold

amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground

Amandine Urruty lives and works on her bed, with a suit case full of pens always nearby. After studying at University for long years and a brief career in underground music, Amandine spreads her repertoire of beasts and her gallery of weird characters on all kind of mediums, on paper as on walls. As she masters techniques of traditional drawing, Urruty offers us a cheerful gallery of deviant portraits, associating grotesque outfits with baroque decorum which miraculously reconcile lovers of alchemistic symbolism to young ladies with too much make up.

amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground

Urruty trusts her instincts and draws inspiration from a wealth of eclectic interests which span the wide gap between high art and pop culture. Revelling in the mystique of her decision making process, she engages in the creation of a unique and personal symbolism, which unveils and unravels itself over the course of time.

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ODDBALL CHARACTERS BY NICK SHEEHY

by Ariadna Zierold

nick sheehy, illustration, nature, animals, skulls, surreal, london, upper playground

London based Nick Sheehy (previously featured here) is an Australian-born artist and illustrator who explores the dreamlike, sometimes semi-autobiographical scenes and oddball characters that echo from his childhood imagination. After studying bronze sculpture in the wilds of Tasmania, Nick gave up on art only to re-discover his love of drawing whilst living in London, sparked by an interest in the city’s low brow art, illustration, street art, and graffiti.

nick sheehy, illustration, nature, animals, skulls, surreal, london, upper playground

Employing a laborious technique, building up layers of texture and thin color, his work infuses precision and attention to detail with random abstraction and clumsiness. He enjoys drawing various weird things for himself, exhibitions and publications.

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WANDERING COLLAGES BY NICOLA KLOOSTERMAN

by Ariadna Zierold

nicola kloosterman, collage, shape, color, botanical, anatomy, vintage, printed, composition, surreal, netherlands, upper playground

Netherlands based Nicola Kloosterman creates collages using scraps of collected paper and fragments of images that speak to her. She is especially interested in shape and color, the female body, hands, botanicals, and vintage printed material. Kloosterman likes to use a lot of negative space and her images are always quite airy and light.

nicola kloosterman, collage, shape, color, botanical, anatomy, vintage, printed, composition, surreal, netherlands, upper playground

She likes to think of herself as an explorer and a wanderer. Nicola thinks the process of finding images in the torrent of our daily visual communications, carefully excavating them and them recycling them into a new context and narrative is exciting as she never knows where she may end up. Each collage begins with a single image or piece of paper. She then slices, combines, reduces and composes until a new visual narrative emerges on her paper reflecting the incomprehensible, the invisible, the immeasurable and the infinite.

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FICTIVE RITUALS BY TALA MADANI

by Ariadna Zierold

tala madani, painting, humor, provocative, narratives, upper playground

Iranian-American artist Tala Madani paints a provocative and humorous discourse on cultural and sexual identity. Picturing the male domain in all its stereotypical glory, Madani’s portraits of Middle Eastern men play out fictive rituals of a deviant, distinctly female imagination: prayer gatherings twisted into homosexual orgies, birthday parties targeted for terrorist attack, and tattoos and body hair plucking construed as the latest in ultra-macho beauty makeovers.

tala madani, painting, humor, provocative, narratives, upper playground

Painted with quick gestures, where oozing paint often doubles as bodily fluids, food, and stains, Madani’s compositions are derived from sketchbooks where countless studies provide the skeleton for her speedy execution. Madani’s pictures are also transformed into stop-motion animations where the artist photographs a freshly created scene over time—wet paint still glistening—resulting in stories of small calamities that are once hilarious, tender, and ghoulish.

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OVERPAINTED PICTURES BY ROSANNA JONES

by Ariadna Zierold

rosanna jones, photography, collage, overpainting, mixed media, portraiture, faces, uk, upper playground

UK based Rosanna Jones describes herself as a fashion and portraiture photographer, as well as a mixed media artist. She has all the necessary elements of alluring art; a distinctive and unique perspective, inventive technique and haunting imagery.

rosanna jones, photography, collage, overpainting, mixed media, portraiture, faces, uk, upper playground

Jones distorts and tampers with her photographs to create unique mixed-media pieces that are both beautiful and disturbing at the same time.

rosanna jones, photography, collage, overpainting, mixed media, portraiture, faces, uk, upper playground

“I love creating and capturing a beautiful moment, whether that be involving people or places, and then, in a way, destroying the innocence and aesthetic beauty of the image. Scratching away, or bleaching photographs is a way that I can relate to my images on a higher level; each scratch, tear or bleach mark symbolises how both society and the human mind have the power to destroy even the most beautiful of people or moments.” Rosanna Jones

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INTERPRETATION OF SPACE BY KATIE GRINNAN

by Ariadna Zierold

katie grinnan, sculpture, installation, los angeles, kinesthetic, structure, form, upper playground

Los Angeles based Katie Grinnan uses sculpture, photography, sound, and video to explore the relationship between our visual and kinesthetic experience and our resulting interpretation of space.

katie grinnan, sculpture, installation, los angeles, kinesthetic, structure, form, upper playground

Grinnan’s most recent work reflects the search for structure and form within complex systems such as the brain and the universe that resist resolution and are largely speculative. It is the alchemical, yet paradoxical relationship between actual experience and our interpretations that has become the underlying focus of her work.

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PHOTOREALISTIC PAINTINGS BY JEN MANN

by Ariadna Zierold

jen mann, portrait, portraiture, colorful, dreamy, photorealistic, toronto, emotion, upper playground

Toronto based Jen Mann is a talented artist who creates eyecatching and fabulously colored portraits of both men and women. Her photorealistic paintings are often paired with surrealistic aspects and explore subjects such as perceived beauty, identity and freedom.

jen mann, portrait, portraiture, colorful, dreamy, photorealistic, toronto, emotion, upper playground

Mann’s colorful portraiture speaks without words and encompasses a full range of human relationships, narratives, and emotions. They’ve silently spoken about topics ranging from social conceptions to self-reflection.

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CONCEPT ILLUSTRATION BY ZEDIG

by Ariadna Zierold

alexandre diboine, illustration, concept, 2d, animation, vibrant, cheerful, anime, upper playground

Alexandre Diboine is a 21-year-old French concept artist, self-taught in illustration. After taking 3-D classes for a year and a half in Paris, Diboine realized it was something he didn’t enjoy, and returned to 2-D illustration. His current goal is to work at Pixar Animation, Walt Disney Animation, or LAIKA. Diboine’s art is cheerful and vibrant. Like Moebius, 90s anime and Disney got together to make amazing pictures.

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