João Ruas, a painter based in São Paulo, Brazil, crafts ghostly, surreal scenes that blend mythology, warfare, and nature. Even his most peaceful works carry a mystery and sense of recent danger. In a new show at Jonathan Levine Gallery, titled “Geist,” the artist evolves these themes and process. The show kicks off May 13 and runs through June 10.
Huang Po Hsun’s vibrant, bombastic paintings move between the familiar and the utterly otherworldly. These works, primarily acrylic on canvas, can feel like underwater carnivals or bubbling abstractions. The artist seems to be retrofitting icons from our world into his own flamboyant dreams.
Puerto Rican artist Cristina Toro creates intricate acrylic paintings and collages that often explore both the interior and our connections to the outside world. Her works appear as both surreal and personal revelations, as the artist often sets out with no final image in mind. In a new show at LaCa Projects in Charlotte, N.C., these ideas take on grand forms in works like the enormous “Without Exception Everything is Reflected in this Mirror,” at 12 feet by 9 feet. The piece itself took her more than a year to complete.
French artist Tof Vanmarque crafts surreal worlds in his acrylic paintings. These fictional characters exist in a world devoid of physics, muted clothing, and in many cases, body parts. The artist’s work tends to exist against scenic, yet rundown backdrops, possibly victim to the insane characters that inhabit them.
Amy Guidry, a North Carolina-born, Louisiana-based artist, crafts surreal acrylic works on canvas that often tie the human psyche to the natural world. Series like “In Our Veins” moves into the concepts of survival, life and death, and destruction. It’s in these works that Guidry seems to highlight the inherent beauty of flora and fauna and the strangeness buried within humanity.
Matt Gordon is a mixed-media artist based in Plymouth, Mich., where he crafts both surreal acrylic paintings and graphite drawings. In these images, skeleton characters, bat-human hybrids, and other creatures interact and frolic in different scenarios. Or, as the artist puts it, his works in both mediums “take place in the same dreamy world of happier times.”