There’s a pervasive sense of childlike fantasy that seems to underline many pop surrealist works. Make-believe animals that don checkered coats, tight rope walkers and re-imagined cats all vibrate within and beyond the confines chosen by each artist at hand.
The alluring world of pop surrealism frequently ushers in a sense of mythical innocence and humor, unifying the superficial world of popular culture with the recesses of the unconscious. With underlying themes of fragility and the macabre delicately hidden beneath a veil of cultural kitsch, saccharine sweet dreamscapes transform and redefine a caustically bright world enamored with packaged goods. The fantastical worlds created through the lens of the following artists explores the relationship between the seemingly pristine and the accompanying bittersweet decay that dwells beneath it. Featured artists include: Casey Weldon, Mac Sorro, Rafael Silveira, Leslie Ditto, and Britt Ehringer.
Born and raised in Southern California, artist Casey Weldon presents a unique interpretation of the ever-changing and frequently disturbing world of popular culture. Two prominent subjects often found within Weldon’s work include his use of softly detailed, multi-eyed cats as well as the pale faced allure of the women who routinely find themselves as the focal point of his work. While the skewed nature of the otherwise friendly felines seems to stand as Weldon’s take on the distortion of pop culture, namely the uprise of internet cat fanaticism, the pained yearning and pseudo indifference of his female leads creates a longing for things that might have been or once were.
Moving through an array of mediums, Los Angeles-based artist Mac Sorro’s intricately detailed oddities range from zombified clay miniatures to oil paintings that frequently juxtapose the subjects alongside unusual settings. With figures that skew the lines between playfully disproportionate and eerily pensive, the fantastical absurdity of an ornately dressed monkey or Sorro’s interpretations of figures found within popular culture consistently walks the line between sultry vaudeville and grim humor.
Leslie Ditto’s ornately layered compositions inclusive of familiar childhood imagery paralleled alongside darker, subtle realities beautifully recreates the tension of a shattered innocence. With influences ranging from techniques utilized by the Old Masters to surrealism and fantasy-laden dreamscapes, Ditto’s exuberantly disturbed oil paintings reexamine issues relevant within and beyond popular culture and the dynamics that accompany them. With each work mirroring a multifaceted array of symbolism alongside the actively relaxed, doe-eyed subjects, the energy Ditto employs within her work inhales the viewer for a closer examination of pop macabre.
With subjects intricately layered alongside or atop one another, Oxnard-based painter Britt Ehringer re-imagines popular culture through a playful use of degeneracy. Through the combination of disorganized fantasies, Ehringer compounds a reflection on popular culture’s fetishization with the idea of more by creating works that humorously place his often disorienting subjects up for reconsideration. Through the delightfully destructive fragmentation of his imagery, Ehringer’s reexamined fusion of popular culture into everyday life reveals itself before the eyes as disjointed, yet beautifully cohesive.
With an explosion of past and modern iconography melding together in an effortlessly unified piece, Brazilian artist Rafael Silveira blurs the lines of time in his billowy soft dreamscapes. Through Silveira’s time warped compositions a bevy of classically rendered botanicals and tropical birds drift alongside fruit loops and 50’s inspired brassieres, creating a visual collision between the natural world and man-made notions of elegance. Like a vacation gone array, Silveira’s seemingly out of place subjects seem to harbor a sense of content amidst the chaos, embracing the voyage into worlds beyond their own.