The work of French graphic designer and painter Jonathan Ouisse moves between stylized portraits and surreal fantasy scenes. His series “Hungarian countryside portraits” uses a topographical approach to the faces of his real-life subjects, blending a straightforward subject with regional iconography and designs. The artist is currently based in Budapest, Hungary.
On his meticulous process: “In general, when I’m creating, I set aside what surrounds me and concentrate,” the artist says, in a video that translates his original French commentary. “It’s like meditating. It’s pure wellness; it’s instinctive. Here’s a mass, here’s a wrinkle, I’m going to make it so … and it will go naturally on and on.”
The above video offers an insight into just how massive these portraits are, and the scope of the artist’s linework.
Other work by Ouisse is decidedly more surreal—particularly the artist’s oil and acrylic paintings on canvas. The scenes, pairing destruction and morbidity with a dystopian vibrancy and mix of animal and human interaction, differ greatly from the Hungarian portraits. The main ties between them seem to be the intricacy of the artist’s renderings. None of the paintings offer overt meanings, yet all seem to exist within the same world, adorned in graffiti, living creatures, and chaos.