Daniela Tieni’s drawings and paintings allow viewers to imagine what it might be like to live inside a storybook. Tieni invites us to follow her protagonists, who look like average young women we might see on any given day, through enchanted worlds. While her work is more grounded in reality than in the imagination, Tieni alters certain mundane details to give her work a surreal quality. Her work is highly stylized and has a painterly quality. The textures of her materials are evident in the marks she makes, revealing the essence of the human hand behind these images.
Christian Edler’s self-portraits hint at an inner conflict brewing within the artist’s psyche. Edler uses his own likeness for surrealist visual experiments, painting himself with various mutations that explore the battles we have with ourselves. In one work, Edler’s face multiplies over and over, creating a web of mouths, fingers, and eye sockets that seems bent on destroying itself. In another piece, he collapses face down in resignation, his face cracking like a ceramic vase. Other works are more hopeful, however, like the one where he cuts himself loose from puppet strings and heads towards a new destiny.
Vladimir Kraynyk’s work takes inspiration from art history and cutting-edge technology alike. His oil paintings of voluminous abstract forms reference the decorative arts of the Baroque period as well as contemporary 3D-rendered images. These disparate aesthetics combine to form geometric shapes that appear to be in constant motion. Forms come together and break apart like a colorful Big Bang repeating over and over again. Kraynyk has a background in graffiti, which comes through in the way his abstract shapes evoke calligraphy. Take a look at his work below.
If you go to see the work of Istvan Orosz, bring a reflective, cylindrical object with you. A master of optics, Orosz creates drawings, etchings, and paintings of what look like distorted blobs when viewing the paper or canvas with the naked eye. Once the mirror is placed on top of the surface, however, coherent images emerge in the reflection. Based in Hungary, Orosz has worked as a set designer and illustrator and even created political posters for the Eastern European pro-democratic movement during the Cold War. Today, the work he creates is open-ended and surreal, focusing on the ways that our vision works and playing with expectations.
While Billy Norrby’s previous work was soft and airy, evoking the Romanticist paintings of the 18th century, his latest series flashes forward a few centuries to a dystopian future that calls to mind the film Bladerunner or cult science fiction author Phillip K. Dick’s book covers. Norrby says he found inspiration in 1970s pulp sci-fi novels, vintage Soviet space race propaganda, and special effects from movies such as 2001. Titled “Pulsar,” some of the pieces in the new series will appear next at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York in August. Norrby just shared some images from this body of work with us. Check it out below.
New York is often described as concrete jungle, a notion Matthew Grabelsky explores in his paintings of fantasy creatures invading its subway. In his work, unsuspecting bystanders sit on the train looking at their phones as bear-headed men read the newspaper and lions hold the handrails wearing dapper suits. The artist, who is a native New Yorker himself, says that his style is influenced by the 19th-century French Academic painters. “My work is not intended to be viewed as fantasy or as allegory, but rather as a blend of every-day experiences and the subconscious,” he says. “My paintings are enigmatic, and they create dream-like worlds that invite viewers to form their own interpretations of the imagery presented.”