We can’t get enough of Surreal // So Real! And we know you can’t either. So, here are 10 more surreal artists to watch and support!
Aria Brownell is a painter living in Austin, Texas and contributor in Issue 14: VIVID. She currently works out of the ContraCommon studios in Bee Cave.
“I paint with oils from photographs I’ve taken myself. I’m invested in portraying the figures I paint in a way that is honest to my perspective as a female. I’ve employed a cast of characters and I depict them in scenes that invoke a familiarity and sentimentality that is hopefully universal to anyone’s existence.”
Lucius Patenaude experiments with a multitude of mediums. In his own words, “Video production is my trade, film photography is my hobby, and writing is my begrudging compulsion. My personal work is often narrative speculative fiction with a strong spiritual thread.”
“Starting in 2018 and ending in 2019, I challenged myself to write a short piece of fiction inspired by one of my film photos (or vice versa) and post the pair to instagram every week. This resulted in over 80 ekphrastic works. Topics ranged from introspection, fantasy, sci-fi, and often the surreal.”
Local muralist, illustrator and installation artist Aerica Raven has been making work in Austin since 2016. You can experience her recent work, The Mesmer, now by visiting the immersive art event Mesmerize. I have already been twice, and highly recommend it!
“My recent work is transient, psychedelic, and most certainly surreal. The Mesmer is a 8’x12′ installation using colored inks and LED lights. The result is difficult to put into words, but there’s a reason the piece is called “Mesmer”.
I categorize my more recent work as “light dynamic murals”. Using light physics and color theory, my process creates the illusion of two separate images transitioning from overwhelmingly chaotic to beautifully fluid as naturally as day turns to night. Imagine trying to process two images fluctuating on a scale wider than your arm span–the installation commands the viewer’s attention and rewards it with hypnotizing visual meditation.”
Austin painter Marcie Dodd (and Issue 11 & 12 contributor) is a mixed media artist. This year she started a new series, Vintage Anatomy, which combines layered ink, acrylic paint, photo transfer, collage and charcoal to create a surreal profile.
“In this piece, I am exploring the idea of living every day in the present – making sure we are showing up, telling those close to us that we love them, living our best life. We are not promised tomorrow, so today is what counts.”
ART superfan and painter/mixed media artist Kathy Keraudren finally took the plunge into full time creation after retiring from her corporate job. She currently creates work in San Pedro, CA, alongside her art assistant and loyal cat friend, Billy.
“My paintings seem to come through me not from me. I often start with images or color combinations that attract my eyes and then see what else the canvas wants. They often emerge resembling a map or a journey to a different reality.”
Carol Hayman is a retired Professor of Anthropology from Austin Community College, as well as a photographer and printmaker. She was featured in one of our early magazines, Issue 03.
“My current works are monochrome photo intaglio prints, pulled at Slugfest Print Studio on an American French Tool Press, from original photographs by the artist. They are printed on French BFK Rives cotton paper, or hand made Mexican bark paper, and chine collé with Japanese washi paper, with Charbonnel ink. The themes deal with mythology and myth-making attached to objects and locations from urban legends to Native-American story-telling, with Greek, Roman, Japanese, and Norse mythology, heroes, sheroes, and super-heroes, in comic books, sci-fi tales, and ghost stories told around a campfire.”
Emerging Austin artist Michelle Belrose is influenced by aboriginal cultures and their connections to the earth and its animals.
“I create from dreams and how others are connected to this world. Each person has a spirit animal and symbols that represent who they are and their connection to this planet. Through dreams and questions, I determine what shapes and symbols to use to form their spirit animal. I then use color and shading to add depth in my gel ink drawings.”
Alexey Adonin is an abstract-surrealist painter from Jerusalem. Our Surreal // So Real theme spoke to him, as he describes his art as “fantastical, imaginative, unrealistic and inexplicable.”
“I believe that art is not only a way to express ourselves but also a unique key to unlocking the knowledge of the hidden world. From a very young age, I sought to explore this unseen realm, relying on my intuition to find the answers I seek.
Life is an enigma I try to apply a more philosophical approach and to hint at the mystical origin of all things. I mostly strive to get away from banal copying of reality, preferring instead to create one of my own – something that somehow reflects my inner world.”
9Savanna Heydon aka Mongrel
Austin artist Savanna Heydon, who goes by the moniker Mongrel, is influenced by “subjects rooted in reality that undermine assumptions of absolution.”
“Being a mixed-race first-generation American informs a lot of what I choose to make art about. My work is driven by a crafted combination of influences that have, to varying degrees, imprinted upon me notions of identity, stability, and realism as it exists individually.
As I approach the concept of being lost in one’s own reality, the subjects and their backgrounds are oftentimes found intertwined in my compositions. My work preoccupies itself with distortion that occurs in an environment and sometimes literally in a subject’s facial or physical features. While the impression of perceptibility withers away, I strive to capture a moment in which realism and falseness might coexist.”
10Jessica Hissam aka Doxxi
I was going to write my own bio for Jessica, but she did such a fantastic job herself. So, I’ll let her explain instead: Jessica Hissam is a local Austinite who believes that thinking is living and that we, as humans, should always be dreaming. She is constantly inspired by the interplay between perception, emotion, and cognition, and fascinated by how they fuse together to form our personal experiences of existence. Obviously, because of this, things often get…surreal.
“I am inspired to illustrate the significant complexity of the human condition by facilitating a connection between the collective experience of being here, alive, and the individual’s own story. I’ve found that reality is stranger than fiction and I believe this is why my work often leans into fantastical, unearthly, and dreamlike themes. We all have to deal with the real world every day, so why not use art to explore the beyond?”