Casey Weldon crafts surreal, sometimes absurd paintings that play with the everyday and the otherworldly alike. … “Weldon gambols with the manipulation of scale and contrast to create otherworldly scenes, as though pulled from the cavities of the unconscious and its latent thread-like associations,” the gallery says. “The works alternate between moments of intense darkness and incandescent light, figuratively and literally. Saturated with lush color and detail, they are stylized by idiosyncratic palette choices that capture a range of brightness and atmosphere, from the intensity of neon to the lambent of dusk and the recesses of twilight obscurity.”
Pareidolic Apophenic Morphogenesis is the search to see things that only exist on the dark screen of the inner mind.
My works represent a journey from chaos, line and color into shape, form and content — freely growing from the mind’s inner eye onto the visual surface.
A world of fantastic landscapes, strange creatures and impossible machines and edifices that defy meaning, content and logic — yet are a true world unto themself.
About Jeff Engberg
Jeff Engberg endeavours with his artwork to find meaning in life by wandering through the dark recesses of the mind.
Engberg Studied art in California, Spain and Norway.
He is a member of the Norwegian Visual Artists Association (NBK Norsk Billedkunstnere) and the National Association of Drawers and Illustrators (Tegnerforbundet).
He has been associated with Can Serrat Art Center/Residency near Barcelona for 12 years and enjoys visiting and participating each summer. Can Serrat’s creative ambience and rural lifestyle in the Catalan countryside in the land of Dali, Miro and Tapies.
These last 8 years Jeff has focused on surrealistic drawings on cotton paper exploring dreamworlds and imaginative environments populated by strange creatures that strive to fulfill their calling in empty landscapes populated with strange animals and archetypical creatures.
Some say “no man is an island.” Jeff says “every man is an island unto himself”, deep within the confines of his mind and soul. Creative expression is how we humans try to express this isolation and share our inner soul with others.
Alice Zilberberg merges traditional photography and computer illustration, creating images that bridge the platforms of photography and painting. Her work marries reality and fantasy, echoing elements of surrealism and baroque art. Using photo-manipulation metaphorically, her images explore themes such as female power, the natural environment, personal identity, and the human condition.
The series Goddess Almighty is a reinterpretation of the first recorded goddess, Mother Nature. Worshipped in a time when nature was depended upon and respected, she epitomized fertility, the life cycle and sexual freedom, all embodied in a woman. Today, by contrast, we domineer and destroy nature. Our primary religions convey god as a man and traditionally devalue women. Reminiscent of baroque art, the work reestablishes the goddess to her origins, defining her as strong, mysterious and defeating. Dancers are used for their physical strength, their muscles digitally exaggerated.
Influences by the surrealism movement, The Dreaming Girls is an homage to the surrealists working from the 1920s to the 1960s. This project uses surreal art photography to channel the unconscious and unleash imagination. Writing down dreams and visual ideas for weeks, the project was made using different images taken in different places. The images were put together, with colouring and toning digitally.
As the themes in Alice’s work change, the fascination with the surreal stays.
Interview with Alice Zilberberg
Where are you from?
I grew up in Israel.
Where do you live now?
Downtown Toronto, Canada.
How has that affected your work?
Some of my work like my project “Home”, speaks about my background and belonging. In this project, the bottom half of the images were photographed in Israel, the country I grew up in, while the sky was shot in Canada, the country I currently reside in. When I arrived in Canada I found it difficult to connect to other, and when I came to visit “Home” (Israel) after many years, I realized that in Israel I was Canadian, and in Canada I was Israeli. The landscapes are digitally manipulated to appear otherworldly, like a different planet, representing a place I am estranged from. In them I see a familiarity, a place that is so beautiful, that has recognizable features, but somewhere I feel alien.
What concepts or stories do you often return to? Why?
I have made a few projects that are eco-feminist in nature, which explore the connections between femininity and the natural environment. I return to these themes because I like to take ideas I’m interested in and make metaphoric connections that appear in my work. In the future, I see myself making direct connections to personal experiences and my life in my projects.
What artists do you look up to?
Some contemporary artists I admire are Ray Caesar, Erwin Olaf, Natalie Shau, Miss Aniela, Erik Johansson, and Brooke Shaden. I also love artists such as Dali, Rene Magritte, Frida Kahlo, Frans Snyder, and Jan Weenix.
Your work is surrealistic and you work in digital photography. How did you come about to choose this combination?
I’ve been drawing and painting since I young age. I started playing with digital illustration and photo-manipulation before I picked up a camera. My style developed when I discovered photography I saw that I could manipulate photography in the computer and create surrealistic images. I’ve been working in this technique for over ten years.
Feminism seems to be important in the two bodies of work we are featuring. Who or what has influence your thinking on this?
As someone who grew up in a small kibbutz in Israel, I’ve always felt very connected to nature. As I child I remember always playing outside and being in nature as opposed to being connecting to technology. Owning my own business and being entrepreneurial in nature, I feel the connection to empower women.
Nikolina Petolas is a Croatian based photographer and digital artist.
Petolas is fascinated by industrial and fantasy environments, and these form the backdrop of the mysterious worlds in her work. She creates her images using photography and digital techniques.
With over 10 years experience in photography with experience in portrait, still lifes, landscapes, and macro photography, Petolas is now intensely involved in creating complex, surrealistic photomontages.
Petolas feels a profound fascination with human behavior: with her work she attempts to highlight the psychological and social aspects of human identity. Petolas explores multiple personalities, dream-like landscapes and strange, surrealist dark creatures and environments. Her observations of inner conflict and what must be so for it to occur, inform her deeply psychological work. She is interested in the complexity of human emotion and this drives the narratives in her figurative, surrealist artwork.
Her work has been featured in numerous publications has participated in multiple group exhibitions across Europe.
Flying fish, women that rise inside an insect lair, giants pears, monstrous creatures, the world after an apocalypse… these are the images that flicker in my mind. Although these worlds may seem strange and unreachable, they contain my hopes and dreams, of people around me, their urges and desires, of new revelations and repeating disappointments, of life with its twists and turns.
My motives are sometimes dark and gloomy and often present dreamlike ambients and strange beings.
I am inspired by my surroundings and I see potential in various everyday things and relations, people, nature, architecture, even food. I see them sometimes as fragments of my work. Most of the time they remain fragments, and sometimes they become unified into a whole and therefore start to exist as a part of my sceneries.
By using real life photographs and textures I give my work a feel of realism, although the themes are far from being realistic…
Insects, animals, skeletons, strange creatures, and self-portraits guide us through these imaginary worlds.
Mostly these are leftovers of something that once lived and had its purpose. By implementing them in my environments, those odd, and often dead things and creatures tell their own story. They start to live as part of something new and in some other form.
I create surreal worlds from real life situations. These strange worlds are the flickering imagery and symbols encoded in my experiences of life, emotions, sexuality and relationships, human behavior.
Through my art I attempt to develop my personal mythology and archetypes, to make real my visions and dreams.
APPETITE is a story about a journey into the belly of the beast. It was originally inspired by a painting by Yagama and her poem “I Am Hungry. The APPETITE teaser video, is a standalone surrealist work of video art and gives a glimpse into the world of the longer 15 minute film. It has been shown at Kino Movimento and Cell 63 Gallery in Berlin. The final film will be directed by sisters Yagama and Ilina Perianova, who have recently collaborated on the Eat Me! (https://www.facebook.com/EatMeTheFilm) short musical film and the fairy tale Snegurochka.
APPETITE focuses on the theme of hunger and examines the need for connection that exists in our oversaturated consumerist society. It presents an absurdist allegory of our reality as the digestive system of a mythical rabbit. The journeys of a simple black and white animated hero through it lead the viewer on a grotesque, humorous trip resonating our own issues of desire and excess.
The film’s team is looking for like-minded coproducers and team members. Find out more about the project and connect with them at https://appetiteproject.wordpress.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/appetiteproject/
Here is an extract from the poem “I Am Hungry” by Yagama:
Dinner has commenced
the exquisite glitter of candelight caught
in the mercurial silhouettes of fine cutlery.
No slurping here.
The delicate boullion, though made of the past
is the noble colour of amber.
Spoons are gracious and receptive, like Mother
Then it hits you in the main vein anyway, of course
Knives cut through everything at stake
raw blood drips from empty spaces
Forks aristocratically poke at emotions
appetizing bits of veiled messages brought to the lips…
and the chewing –
you’d think they swallow the pieces whole,
so refined their mouth movements.
But their teeth are sharp.
The salad of confusion sprinkled with apathy
doesn’t excite anyone
but then again, we choose the healthy option.
Forgotten pieces of landmines explode between our teeth
This food is giving me nuclear decomposition.
I am glowing like a lightbulb…