There is a beautiful monstrosity about nature. While it can be sublimely peaceful and full of life, it can instantly turn violent. These opposing truths are a recurring theme in the dramatic oil paintings of Australian artist Joel Rea, featured earlier this year on the blog. Rea recently realized a new series, where beasts and man are faced with the beauty and peril of the world. Growing up near the beach, water became an important aspect of Rea’s life, combined with his love for animals. These two subjects meet in grand scenes where water is a powerful, natural force of biblical proportions.
A recurring image is one of tigers in the middle of the ocean. Thoughts of Life of Pi might immediately come to mind, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Rea’s works are meant to be symbolic fantasies, inspired by his own story from childhood and personal experiences. The tigers, predators of land, come together with sharks, predators of the sea, reigning together over the same world. Meanwhile, men in dark grey suits float in submission until they eventually learn to walk on water and overcome their obstacles. Although danger surrounds them everywhere, it also seems to be the catalyst for their emotional growth. Take a look at Rea’s new series below, images courtesy of the artist.