Polish artist Jacek Yerka’s paintings invite us into a world where things are not what they seem. Caves turn into gaping dragons’ mouths, houses float above the clouds, and gardens become seemingly infinite puzzles of time and space. The artist blurs the boundaries between the biological and the mechanical, creating strange hybrids of animals, architecture, and geological formations. Yerka began his career making band posters in the 1970s and has been exhibiting his work in Poland for decades.
New Delhi-based illustrator Archan Nair creates fluorescent digital art with a painterly effect. Nair composes kaleidoscopic images that resemble Rorschach ink blots. Wisps of color tumble like clouds of pigment in water, creating nebulous shapes that morph into one another. His work has a psychedelic quality evocative of the spiritually-focused visionary art movement, which borrows heavily from Hindu iconography in particular. While human subjects are at the center of Nair’s work, he melts figurative elements into textured, abstract designs and otherworldly visuals.
Rachel Fagiano subsumes her characters in copious fungal growths that tower over them like enormous headpieces. The artist draws with a combination of micropigment ink and graphite on paper. Her colorful, trippy-looking mushrooms stand out against the white backgrounds. Fagiano’s characters seem to be in constant conflict with one another, though it’s unclear for what reason. They pinch, hit, and choke each other in a blind rage — perhaps hinting at the senselessness of violence. Her work evokes that of Chinese artist Zhou Fan, whom we covered on the blog previously here.
Canadian artist Jamiyla Lowe has conjured a topsy turvy world of bizarre creatures. Her ink illustrations recall Dr. Seuss characters with attitude, using a handful of bright colors like yellow, red and green, or monochromatic black and white. They are rounded and somewhat droopy, even when representing real animals, and almost always with a white background. Most of the images here are from her new series, “Beware of the Beast” for Narwhal Art Projects in Toronto.
New York-based artist Yohei Horishita creates digital illustrations with a textured effect that evokes traditional painting. His work is ornate and figurative, juxtaposing human characters with imaginary settings that seem to belong to no particular time or place. Flowers and feathers consume his backgrounds, cultivating a fantasy space removed from our contemporary reality. While Horishita does extensive client work, his pieces have a distinct style that allows them to stand alone.
Polish-born, German-based designer and illustrator Sebastian Onufszak has created graphics for dozens of big-name clients — from Karl Lagerfeld to Starbucks — but in his personal work, he pulls out all the stops. Onufszak’s chaotic drawings and paintings look as if the lid of his subconscious was taken off completely. Characters are piled together in an orgiastic cacophony of faces and limbs; every color of the rainbow is used liberally; loud, seemingly meaningless text is scrawled everywhere that it can fit. Calling his style dreamlike would be an understatement, as few of us have dreams quite this vivid.