I told you before, we love the Surreal // So Real! Want us to prove it? Here are 10 more surreal artists to watch and support.
Austin painter and Issue 17 contributor Jess Lin combines realistic and abstract components to make brightly colored surreal landscapes.
“Creating surreal art is a channel for me to give my mind space, especially during this period of time when many of us are confined to our homes. Instead of observing and painting abstract landscapes from afar (as I did before), I’m now wandering the landscape and getting to know the inhabitants.
As I’m building these worlds, I’m strolling through the forests as if I’m in a lucid dream, examining the plants and animals, and adding colorful twists as I go. Making surreal art releases my mind from the confines of my physical space and allows me to create and morph reality.”
Laura Oxendine is a digital artist that primarily works in video and motion design. She collaborates with her husband, who is also a motion designer/vfx artist, to design ethereal projection mapping installations and live visuals.
“My work with experimental animation plays with ways purely digital techniques can create a sense of the organic while also telling poetic stories. Basic shapes, lines and limited palettes are crafted and animated in such a way to hint at organic forms and movement. At times, visual effects are paired as audio reactive elements to create a surreal space that fluctuates between feeling familiar and otherworldly.”
“As a lover of science fiction, I find the process exciting because it lends itself to surreal combinations of objects and characters that wouldn’t normally belong together. I’m grateful to have discovered this meditative practice of imagining new worlds when the one we’re living in currently feels so desperate.”
Lawrence Jolly is an Austin painter and self-proclaimed contemporary narrative realist. His mixed media artworks and paintings tell stories that seek to connect human nature with divine nature.
“My work is an amalgam of boldly rendered figurative, animal, and environmental subject matter woven into magically ethereal settings in oil and mixed media. A joyful mash-up of Dali and Rockwell, my art explores emotional, spiritual, and physical connections we have within ourselves, with God, and with each other…all emanating from achingly tender glimpses into the artist’s life experience.
Man In Red is the first in an ongoing series I call Real People. I keep a library of photos of people I know (and some I do not) from years of travel and just living. In this series I have taken the subject almost completely out of their natural environments, and isolated them in sparse and ethereal settings of my own making. The affect was to really draw attention to the individual, and then to see what they might want to tell me/us about themselves from their time “in the corner”.
Leah Bury is a digital artist in Austin. She creates portraits comprised of unique textures and imagery, meant to be a representation of inner emotion and essence manifested in a physical form. She loves to travel and also incorporates some of her own travel photography into her portraits.
“Technicolor Portrait is a self portrait imagining myself as me, the person I am deep down, manifested in a rainbow of colors. Also, I want to own a suit in each of these colors so…manifestation I guess?
Stuck in the Middle is a self portrait representing the way the past and the future lack color, because the only moment that is truly real is the one we are existing in right now. As you get further away from focusing on the present moment, things start to become dull and lose their magic.”
Yael Lan, an artist from Israel, creates black and white illustrations that ask the biggest questions.
“My work talks about the questions: “Is it real?, what is reality? and can I make a change?” In my opinion, each person has the ability to choose their attitude and their truth, their way to act, to hear, to speak, and see their life and the reality.
We have so much power, and I want to share my perspective, to inspire someone, to make someone think about anything. Those are the little things that can make progression in human’s reality.”
Ziad Nagy is an interdisciplinary artist living in London. His new series, Dream Alphabet, consists of photocopied collages on top of pages of an old dream journal. Each collage is of an alphabetical file divider.
“There is something so real / surreal in applying an arbitrary order to something as nonsensical and personal as dreams.”
He also dabbles in surreal videography. His short film, JOURNEYS is a perfect example.
“JOURNEYS is composed entirely from clips of other films and it is a frustratingly meditative experience. I had nightmares during the period of making it.”
Jessica Moritz, a mixed media artist from Israel, has recently created a series called Anatomy of an Artist. The idea was born in quarantine, where Jessica felt inspired to explore what it means to be “locked in with ourselves.”
“As an artist, we feel the urge to fill the blank, being productive and efficient. Not having venue, exhibition or commission is creating a black hole in our habits. Many artists have been very inspired during pledge in history, it will surely change the way we create, curate and interact with the viewer. Inside we have all this potential locked-or not. The way we interact with the art world today is gonna lift new ways to express and reflect on our unstable conditions of being an artist.”
9Red Moth Art
Kimberly Grau, the visionary behind Red Moth Art, grew up in a desert, but now she lives in a pollen infested greenbelt (her words). We’ve featured her hand-painted fashion in past issues (Issues 15, 17 & 18), and this time we’re focusing on her comic book illustrations.
“As evidenced by my intensely pigmented work, I love using color. Color is a beautiful language unto its own, that all artists use to try to express themselves. So here highlights the beauty of color in a strange, surreal illustrated mini comic.”
Austin based mixed media artist Robert Kinsey, layers imagery to create collages that teeter on the surreal and so real. He combines colors, patterns and photos that are in complete contrast to one another, evoking a range of emotions from viewers.
“My work is intended to be flirtatious – romantic, even. I let the imagery guide my process and develop emotionally tied narratives to leave the viewer curious, passionate, and uneasy.”