Trippy magicians and warriors find themselves in an unnamed land with black skies in Martin Ontiveros’ current exhibition, “Strange and Unlovely” at Pony Club Gallery. Based in Portland, the artist and self-described metal-head (HF Collected Edition 3) has created a world of bizarre denizens throughout his painting career. Featuring new ink illustrations, mainly monochromatic, the show indulges in their fantastic strangeness. Check out more photos from the show after the jump!
Patrick Hardziej is an illustrator from Gdynia, Poland whose surreal works of art immerse viewers in the dreamlike adventures of his characters. Often donning detached facial expressions, the everyday guys in his works find themselves in adrenaline-inducing scenarios that we experience vicariously as viewers. Whether traveling through space or battling sea monsters, Hardziej’s characters are humorous, and never self-serious, much like the artist’s quirky visual style itself.
Aditya Pratama aka Sarkodit is an Indonesian illustrator who creates surreal, multi-layered paintings where figurative forms unravel into dreamlike scenarios. Everything becomes fluid, and familiar characters shape-shift in a variety of ways. Inspired by cinema and storybooks alike, Pratama’s work has a strong narrative component to it, though the colorful, elaborate shapes he paints can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Ordinary situations, like reading a book at a park, are not what they seem and even inanimate objects can come alive with colorful personalities.
Digital artist Lek Chan has a series of soft, ethereal portraits that look like they could have been painted by hand, though they were created with the help of PhotoShop. Chan works as an illustrator and game designer, though her personal work has a textured, painterly quality that is more evocative of traditional portraiture than new media. On her blog, she is transparent about how she creates her works and details the steps of her process for curious viewers to follow.
Spanish artist Liqen creates murals and illustrations filled with strange, botanical references. In his street art, giant plants seem to morph into various animals and objects, blurring the boundaries between various life forms — and the biological and the manmade. While his murals utilize a tropical color palette, his illustrations are starkly contrasting and monochromatic. He renders rich textures with precise line work, making his characters come alive in the process.
Many a Grimm Brothers tale can be unraveled to find disturbing characters, stark truths, and other less-than-pleasant — and definitely not kid-friendly — themes. It’s one thing to discover these wicked twists and another to bring them to life. In his “Modern Grimm” series, Björn Griesbach illustrates his own interpretations of tales like “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty.” In a modern setting, the characters from these tales become manipulative, sociopathic, and disturbed.