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Adrian Cox Portrays Surreal Fleshy Gardens in New Oil Paintings

Missouri based artist Adrian Cox's fleshy "borderlands" and their inhabitants may look off-putting and weird, but there is also natural beauty to be found in this imaginary world. His oil paintings, works on paper, and sculptures are all treated with the soft touch of 19th century Romantic landscape painting. Previously covered here, Cox's human-like subjects called the "Border Creatures" have been compared to David Lynch's Elephant Man; abstract lumps of skin and muscle with vague features. His latest series introduces new characters, "gardeners," the caretakers of glowing mounds of birds, bugs and snakes. 

Missouri based artist Adrian Cox’s fleshy “borderlands”  and their inhabitants may look off-putting and weird, but there is also natural beauty to be found in this imaginary world. His oil paintings, works on paper, and sculptures are all treated with the soft touch of 19th century Romantic landscape painting. Previously covered here, Cox’s human-like subjects called the “Border Creatures” have been compared to David Lynch’s Elephant Man; abstract lumps of skin and muscle with vague features. His latest series introduces new characters, “gardeners,” the caretakers of glowing mounds of birds, bugs and snakes. Each shares the same qualities as their gardener, illustrating a bond between subject and nature. Snakes, for example, are among the deadliest animals in the world, with the most poisonous being the most beautiful. Cox included some of these pieces in his solo show at Manifest Gallery in Ohio, last month. In his exhibition statement, he shares, “My work weaves a narrative of transgressive embodiment and builds a mythos of the grotesque. The characters in these paintings obliterate the natural limits of the body; sensuous extensions and wound-like openings facilitate an intense connection to their environment.”

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