Known for his hyper-realistic — or hyper-unrealistic, whichever you prefer — paintings of monsters, Travis Louie (Hi-Fructose Vol. 5) invents family histories and lineages by twisting our notions of photography as a form of documentation. The artist developed a meticulous painting technique that involves layering transparent acrylic paint over a graphite drawing, creating results with the same dimensionality and sepia-toned palette as antique photographs from the Victorian era.
Louie has a solo show coming up at Seattle’s Roq La Rue on April 12 titled “Monsters on Their Day Off.” For this particular series, Louie found inspiration in a collection of photographs of “human oddities” that depict sideshow performers going about their mundane activities. Louie’s new paintings reinterpret this theme, taking us into the daily lives of monsters and giving us insight into the quirks and behaviors we don’t see when they’re not lurking under our beds and the like. Each painting is accompanied by a short story written by the artist himself, demonstrating the full scope of his carefully-thought-out vision. Take a look at our preview of the works in the show below and check out “Monsters on Their Day Off” April 12 – May 4.