Marlène Mocquet is a French artist whose chimerical paintings and sculptures portray strange worlds full of quirky, animated characters. Her surreal creations often have a sense of childlike whimsy and humor; other times, they turn dark and tumultuous, and verging on grotesque.
Australian artist Kate Shaw combines “paint pours”, collage, glitters and inks to render psychedelic landscapes. The colorful images yield awe-inspiring effects, yet are accompanied with a dark undertone. While they may capture the “transcendent beauty” of nature, at the same time they hint at the troubling environmental changes brought on by human activity.
San Francisco-based visual artist Nicholas Bohac contemplates “the big picture” in his immersive, mixed media works that feature celestial figures amidst dreamlike landscapes. In his artist statement, Bohac writes that his purpose is “to question the universe and where, exactly, people fit into it… Through my work, I aim to explore the overall phenomenon of what it means to be human, past, present and future.”
Julie Speed is an American artist known for her meticulous and startling contemporary works. Her paintings, etchings and collages present bizarre imagery that is rife with absurdity, violence and anxiety, and have been described as both disturbing and beautiful. Though constantly labeled a “Neo Surrealist”, Speed describes herself as a “Pararealist”, offering a glimpse into a world that exists parallel to our own reality.
Gilles Cenazandotti is a French artist known for his arresting sculptures of animals constructed entirely of litter he collects from the ocean. Petroleum products, bottle caps, tubes of sunscreen, and other plastic refuse are gathered from the sea and transformed into a variety of species, many endangered. Through his art, Cenazandotti hopes to bring greater awareness to the condition of our planet and the number of species threatened by human activity and pollution.
Fred Tomaselli’s psychedelic painting/collage hybrids have mind-altering tendencies in more ways than one. Over his career, the artist has earned a reputation for blending psychotropic substances with cut-out photos of animals and human parts to create his surreal works of art. Newer pieces shift the focus to more conventional photo collage and acrylic, yet are no less mesmerizing. Colorful and imaginative, Tomaselli’s works are like portals to an alternate universe, where his “inquiry into utopia/dystopia – framed by artifice but motivated by the desire for the real – has turned out to be the primary subject”.