link - by Avi Abrams

If you prefer to cling to reality, this page is not for you

Try to use your imagination a little... or a lot. Some of this art requires a fresh perspective and the suspension of disbelief from the viewer, while some requires... well, a strong drink to properly figure it out.

We're fully aware that it's impossible to probe the (often) murky depths of the sea of surreal art in a single article. So this is only a sample of the best material that came our way in recent months - art we found irresistible and memorable enough to highlight here. Send us tips about artists and their works that similarly impressed you, for inclusion in a follow-up issue.

Augmented Nature in Ilkka Halso's Surreal Photography

This is the best attempt to build something in natural environment, period. Too bad it's only a rendering. Imagine wandering through the serene Finnish forests, and encountering such structures.... Simply sublime.

"Museum" is the best expression for ecology-concerned thinking that we encountered so far:

(images credit: Ilkka Halso)

The Mood is Set. The Visual Treat is Before You.

I personally consider some surreal art therapeutic: such art soothes or inspires in the exact moment of emotional need, sometimes quite unexpectedly so. While realistic art is constrained in its means to convey emotion, surrealism's deceptive freedom of expression can be just as challenging to deal with. Here are a few deeply-felt artistic "ventures" into imaginary realms:

"Waiting for Godot" by Victoria Lamb

"Desperation" by Josh Sommers -

Nikki Pinder knows what takes root in your soul in certain situations:

"Creative Writing & Gainful Employment"
(this dilemma sounds pretty familiar...) -

Anyone who knows the highs and lows of creative writing will appreciate this image:
"Mind Control"

Her "Birdman" we featured before, but it's fantastic and elaborate enough to display again:

(art by: Nikki Pinder)

Profound Imagery of Samuel Bak, Holocaust Survivor

Samuel Bak was born in Vilna and started to display his drawings in the Vilna ghetto. "Bak's father was killed just a few days before Vilna was liberated by the Russians. After the war's end, he was sent to refugee camps in Germany, and emigrated to Israel in 1948"

"Targets Revisited" -

"Still Life with Ego" - part of the spectacular "The Fruit of Knowledge" series -

The shape of a pear exists either in its
"Present Absence" -

or "Absent Presence":

"Sefarim" -

He also re-works the hebrew letters of names of his parents and grandparents, placing these shapes in a surreal (blasted and sorrowful) landscape. You have to see this series for yourself.

Landscapes of the Soul, Amplified

You can not find this "terra impossible" on any maps, but you can easily relate to the mood and the message of most of these surreal images. Salvador Dali created the sub-genre of psychedelic landscape, but even he might be startled by the weirdness of some of the most far-out offerings - but then again, after a few glasses of wine and some petting of his favorite cats, I'm sure, he'd ask to see some more...

First, George Grie with his thrilling landscape vistas:

"Infinite Improbability Drive"


"Arrested Expansion"

"Ice Age Premonition"


(art by George Grie)

French illustrator Francois Baranger has a great portfolio with post-apocalyptic / science fiction flavour:

(image credit: Francois Baranger)

Russian surrealist painter Alexander Kruglov can whip up pretty powerful Dali-esque landscapes, seemingly effortlessly:

"Subtle Melodies of Sunset"

Russian "post-everything" sadness, amplified:

"Never gonna fly again" -

Darker Visions

David Ho is equally adept at creating haunting magazine illustrations and more personal works, such as his "Contemplation" cycle:

"My Darkest Hour" -

Art of Erlend Mork is also heavy stuff: emotionally and visually loaded - and as such, pretty much unforgettable:

"Our faces as our days"


"Nos Morituri"

Futuristic "Primitive" Art of Ian Pyper

This is what "primitive" graffiti and folk/naive art from the future may look like - delivered to you by Ian Pyper, who spends time scouring the future for symbols of atoms, flying saucers, robots and aliens! -

More of his "Paleolithique Moderne" -

Larry Carlson: Fractal Surrealism

Something quite unusual can be seen among Larry Carlson' s psychedelic creations. Fractal collages are not new, but fractal cottages are...! Plus some totally improbable objects, placed in normal suburbia:

Various other fascinating surreal collages:

(images credit: Thomas Herbrich)

(image credit: Paul Ruigrok)

(image credit: Jan Hathaway)

(image credit: Jan Hathaway)

Painted blog of Paul Rica is a reflection of his web-surfing during the week. He says: "Every week I collect stuff on the web that's funny, poetic or weird and make an oil painting from it." Pretty neat idea, we think.

"Tongue-in-Cheek" Surreal Art

Sometimes it takes very little to achieve an original result. Why nobody combined yet Starbucks culture with Victorian sensibilities, I have no idea.

(original unknown, via)

All artwork is published by permission of respective owners


Also see:
Fascinating Worlds of Jacek Yerka
Fantastic Art by Tomasz Maronski
Fantasy Art of Vladimir Kush

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Category: Art,Weird


Visual Caffeine #8
Visual Caffeine, Issue 8

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Visual Caffeine, Issue 7

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me, Salvador Dali has always been the great surrealist painter. But you've introduced me to names I've never come across. I particularly like the work of Bak and Grie.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of Jack Yerka, and I know I've seen at least one of his paintings on this site.
Thanks for giving me some new artists to explore!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry Carlson is really the greatest!
People call him "the Salvador Dali of the Next Century" because as well as creating these masterpieces he also makes insane movies,web art and music! Bravo !Carlson!!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seeing the guy turning into a tree reminded me of this, the video for Ween's Transdermal Celebration by Adam Phillips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU91POX33aE

Check out his other work at http://biteycastle.com/

Anonymous Dawid Michalczyk said...

A lot of cool surreal art here!


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Don't miss: The Ultimate Guide to NEW SF&F Writers!
Fiction Reviews: Classic Cyberpunk: Extreme Fiction
Short Fiction Reviews: Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" (with pics)
New Fiction Reviews: The Surreal Office


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