For Brazilian artist Fábio Magalhães’ hyperrealist oil paintings, the more grotesque the better. Using gruesome body horror imagery such as hacked up, barely identifiable body parts and suffocated faces in plastic bags, Magalhães’ work is as incisive as it is skillfully rendered. The breaking down of recognizably human appendages and entrails into chopped up, stomach churning chunks is purposefully reminiscent of a real-life counterpart: that of animal cruelty. Although we’re accustomed to seeing animals deconstructed into bright, vacuum-sealed packages of meat every time we go to a supermarket, it’s only when faced with the sickening sight of what our own bodies would look like if sold in similar plastic bags that truth of the cruelty behind the meat industry becomes stunningly clear. Magalhães’ paintings are nightmarish in portrayal, and certainly something you’d never want to see in real life, but when put to canvas are strong, provocative, and memorable works. Magalhães studied at the Federal University of Bahia in the city of Salvador, where he is currently based. (via Illusion)
The artist Alicia Martin Lopez gives form to her emotional demons through her darkly seen paintings; imagining the shapes and tones of oft-repressed memories and desires, her work dares to plunge into the depths of human fear. With their infinitely cavernous black eyes, Lopez’s disquietingly amorphous characters invite viewers into the nightmarish dreamscape of our own psychological narratives.
Lopez’s frightful beings inhabit a space outside the confines of time; day and night blur together as light pours in and leaks out of the scene without cause. The monsters are wildly unbound, floating in midair, drifting on water, or holding desperately to rock formations, toes clinched with uncertainty. Like thoughts that flood the darkest corners of the human psyche, the beasts may appear at any time in any place, haunting the mind’s eye without warning.
As soon as they rear their heads, however, the creatures are woefully repressed; one octopus-like animal sits confined in a cell, his crooked neck craning to accommodate a sickly grey face. Like our own private demons, Lopez’s creatures are starved of attention and psychic nourishment, kept bottled in the murky depths of subconscious memory. They each stare downward as if collapsed by the space above them, their bodies bracing against the weight of repression. A flying squid’s wings appear as if crushed by exhaustion; sea creatures’ bearded faces droop into impossibly still water, their sorrowful expressions reflected back at them.
These animals are a tangible reminder of memories and sufferings that refuse to stay buried; collapsing in upon themselves, they beg for our recognition. In granting form to formless worries, the artist suggests that our psychological demons are perhaps less fearful than they are beautifully, mournfully sympathetic. Take a look. (via Hi Fructose and Juxtapoz)
French artist Julien Spianti‘s oil paintings almost look like watercolors. The way he blends and creates depth, color, and texture creates a dreamy and familiar aesthetic. His work often features human figures in various environments that seem to bleed into the canvas. Spatial relationships are deconstructed and appear fluid, a sense of disappearing space and the blurring of boundaries. Landscapes and interiors blend into each other, and the effect created is mythical and resonant. Each painting’s evocation depends on what element of the composition he chooses to blend or blur into cloudy ambiguity. Spianti’s paintings remind me of dream images that are familiar, but hard to place, an image that lingers after you wake, knowing for certain that particular people were present, though their faces are unclear. Spianti’s work is largely influenced by his immersion in aesthetic philosophy, a field of study in which he holds a Master’s. Spianti lives and works between Brussels and Paris as a painter and filmmaker. (via two headed snake)
Interesting paintings done in oil on lexan from Brooklyn-based artist Liza Lacroix. Portraits rendered in lush, swimming applications of color, the works maintain a haunting distance and obscurity. Our faces are the most expressive elements of our bodies by far, and somehow Lacroix’s denial of direct access to such expression makes you want to stare at these tormented paintings even more; to try and uncover the meaning that’s hidden in plain sight.
London-based artist Chloe Early works primarily in oil, creating paintings that set themes of “love, beauty, and innocence” against “worldly symbols of agression” -bombs, bullets, urban development, etc. And we’re talking right up against each other. Subjects as disparate as weapons and flowers seamlessly come together as one to create a kind of informal pattern. Missiles, engines, and guns -harsh, metallic things- spiral away from lovers and graceful figures. In creating such a sharp contrast of subject matter, Early captures an elusive, sublime moment. That perfect, last second of beauty before everything falls to shit. That enormous show of strength in the midst of destruction and decay. More paintings after the jump. Read More
NYC via Arizona artist Joe Sorren creates oil paintings of idyllic children and their soft, forgiving companions. He shares a similar palette with Dave Cooper, and both artists have also been represented, at one time or another, by the same gallery (Jonathan Levine in Chelsea, NYC). But that’s pretty much where the comparisons end. Where Cooper depicts hedonistic wood-nymphs frolicking in the woods, Sorren places children sitting on a blanket reading a book. The artist’s beautiful paintings show us that there is as much intrigue and mystery in the lighter (and perhaps also sad) elements in in life as there are in the dark, animalistic realm of self-serving greed. Sorren will hold a small solo show in Levine’s project room in December. Read More
SVA grad Mu Pan brings East Asian woodblock aesthetics to his colorful, animated paintings. Not much of a “Zen” vibe is to be found here, though. Full of life, the Brooklyn artist’s work explodes off the canvas in a rush of sex and violence. Base, animalistic sensibilities are collected and processed en masse within each piece, and hardly any opportunity for impact is passed over. Really engrossing stuff, whether the focus is placed on a few central figures, or all-encompassing atmosphere. Read More
Lucy Gaylord-Lindolm’s remixed take on traditional oil painting and art history injects elements of surrealism and pop culture into a familiar setting. Characters from The Wizard of Oz and Pinocchio find their way into the artist’s cleverly referenced paintings, establishing bold compositions where perfectly good paintings once already existed. The result causes us to look a little deeper into that which we previously took for granted. I’ll go wherever she’s leading with these. (via) Read More