Expertly mimicking the style of mid-20th century magazine illustrations, Michael Mararian‘s paintings infiltrate the wholesomeness of antiquated advertisements with elements of surprise and terror. Sometimes morbidly humorous and other times simply morbid, Mararian’s paintings explore the ways childhood fears and vulnerabilities can resonate in adulthood. “I am especially interested in examining how humor and tragedy coexist within our society. In my recent work, I deconstruct the American dream, touching upon such topics as gross consumerism, school violence, teenage disappointments, pressures and the slowly growing social isolation that are part of our childhood and adult culture,” Mararian said. The artist has a solo show titled “Recent Projects” opening at CHG Circa in Culver City this Saturday, May 18. Take a look at some of the works in the show below.