Lola Mitchell uses textures and digital painting to create stories through images. Her surrealistic underwater photography resonates with rhythm and explores emotional concepts.
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.
Baskoro Prasetyo is a 28-year-old freelance photographer and videographer from Bali, Indonesia.
Prasetyo’s work takes a critical view of nature and culture. In his work, he deconstructs Indonesian beliefs and culture. He uses digital collage and photography in his artwork.
Is your Instagram knee-deep in narcissistic selfies? Acquaintances you don’t dare unfollow? (It would be impolitic.) Motivational quotes by your in-laws? (Yeah, he just discovered multi-level marketing & thinks he’s an entrepreneur.)
We need to talk: you need to follow some artists. And before you think, “Ugh, I do, and it’s unbearable.” No, those are Artistes. You don’t follow these artists. So leave the Derrida on the shelf and have a seat because we’re going to show you some good sh*t.
You need weird art.
Call it what you want. Surreal art. Fantastic art. Lowbrow art. Visionary art. Psychedelic Art. Or just plain weird. It comes from the imagination of someone askew. And it makes you stranger. You need to follow these 17 mind-blowing surreal artists.
You need these surreal artists it in your Instagram. Otherwise, you may unfollow those annoying in-laws. So don’t have a rather awkward holiday next year, get some surreal art in your Instagram.
Following these mind-blowing surreal artists on Instagram will make your feed awesome.
Brosio makes terrifying paintings by juxtaposing mundane scenarios. 60-foot Chickens. Ominous tornadoes behind small towns in middle-America. Little girl with bats. Brosio’s unnerving paintings subvert our expectations. He plays with themes of pop culture, Americana, nostalgia and the unexpected in gorgeous, cinematic imagery. Website. Our previous coverage.
You need to follow Podhajsky. Podhajsky’s face-melting, psychedelic art is some of the most powerful art being created today.
Podhajsky’s work is constantly evolving and surprising. Stare at a Podhajsky long enough, and you may become a Buddha. If you fall as in love with it as much we have, he has prints available on his website.
Leif is an artist and Creative Director. His work explores themes of connectedness, the relevance of nature and the psychedelic or altered experience.
Podhajsky’s work has been described as “striking abstractions of nature – mirrored vistas, engulfing waves, rippling, melting cosmic landscapes”
Remember the last time you were out in nature? There was that well-tended-to area in the middle of nowhere. Nicole Watt shows us the creatures from the other place that live there. In her gorgeous, eerie sculptures, Nicole Watt creates the inhabitants from a magical realm. Watt’s strange creations tap into the tapestry fairy tales, mythology, and our shared cultural imagination.
Nicole Watt is an internationally exhibited self-taught mixed media sculpture artist living and creating in the wilderness of Southern Tasmania, Australia. Her exquisitely simplistic and emotionally driven characters blossom from a world long forgotten; a world hidden in the shadows of imagination where the wind blows wild, the trees groan with ancient secrets born from the whispers of the fae.
Casey Weldon paints amazing pop-surrealist paintings. If you’ve ever thought to yourself: “This cat would be cooler if he could shoot laser beams from his eyes,” then you need to follow Casey Weldon. Weldon tripled Steve Buschemi’s awesomeness by doubling his eyes. Website
Beeple is a visual and video artist producing mind-blowing art and eye candy. (And producing amazing music videos and more.) His success is also a testament to the power of the internet. With an internet connection, we truly are free to live anywhere if we produce great work and share it. Beeple makes awesome art. Everyday.
Beeple is Mike Winkelmann. He has released hundreds of extremely popular live visuals under Creative Commons. In 2007 Mike also began working on an ‘everyday’ series that continues to this day. Over the last 8+ years he has produced an image from scratch every single day and uploaded it. These images are viewed by 100K+ people daily and have inspired hundreds of other artists to start their own everyday projects.
Khan Nova (Mathieu Saunier) is a french digital collage artist. His Retro-Sci-fi surrealist collages explore the past, future and feature figures with a wide range of ethnicities. Juxtaposing epic desert landscapes, clouds, larger-than-life figures, pyramids, and design elements, Saunier creates a sense of beauty, power, and magic. Saunier chases infinity.
French digital collage artist Mathieu Saunier, who goes by “Khan Nova,” creates compositions as colossal as his name suggests. Inspired by visions of the future from previous decades, Khan Nova fuses together elements of past narratives with current conversations to create otherworldly conjectures. Such images as men and women in vintage ski clothes posed in front of sleek buildings echoing the Great Pyramids of Egypt convey the spirit of Retro-Futurism, in which the contemporary viewer experiences the excitement past generations held for a hyper-modern future.
— via hifructose.com
Rewinda Omar’s brooding, black and white photography features figures against desolate landscapes. With a lyrical use of dark-clothed figures against these stark desert backdrops– her work somehow communicates more subconsciously than seems possible. Omar does not give us a lot to go on. Layers of meaning defy analysis. Words will not do justice to the magic found behind Omar’s metaphysical pieces. The work is highly spiritual, personal, and yet speaks to something profoundly universal.
Inspired by my personal demons.
Everyone is like a moon has two sides; The bright side and the dark side.
All the time every human only see the bright side of the moon because the dark side of the moon is invisible that always faces away from earth. This photo series is about the dark side.
Thomas Easton creates art juxtaposing the everyday with epic sci-fi/space visuals. His imagery has a retro feel and he cleverly sources his images from vintage 1970’s magazines that add a certain nostalgia to the work. Easton’s mind-bending collages are both elegant and sophisticated. A perfect addition to your quickly improving Instagram feed. Reasonably priced prints are available at society6.com, and will make any room in your home more creative and interesting.
Thomas Easton is a UK based digital collage artist. Lover of the surreal and abstract arts that bend the imagination and leave you thinking for a while. Writer, Musician and poet.
Mark Ryden: The Godfather of Pop Surrealism
Mark Ryden should need no introduction. Ryden ushered in the Los Angeles Pop Surrealism scene by walking the sacred line between fine art and popular culture. His work is subversive. Everything is just-so. And darkly, gorgeously just-so. Yet the subject matter isn’t what “they” want you to see. Who are they? The meat industry. Virginia Beach Arts Commissioners, haha. 🙂
Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art. His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, “Pop Surrealism”, dragging a host of followers in his wake. Ryden has trumped the initial surrealist strategies by choosing subject matter loaded with cultural connotation.
Agostino Arrivabene was born in 1967, lives and works in Gradella di Pandino (CR) Italy.
Arrivabene’s approach to painting stems from his artistic influences Gustave Moreau and Odd Nerdrum. He follows traditional methods that include grinding his own pigments and the almost forgotten technique of mischtechnik. In mischtechnik, egg tempera is used in combination with oil-based paints to create translucent layers which, when laid over each other, refract light creating a sense of luminosity. This attention to the minutiae has resulted in Arrivabene’s paintings actually embodying a process of alchemical transformation, in which the physical matter of painting itself is transmuted into extraordinary light-filled visions.
via Cara Gallery
Agostino Arrivabene creates spiritual, surreal, occult paintings with a nod to the symbolists. Alchemists aimed to turn lead into gold: the seeker into the initiate– from suffering human to enlighted being.
Arrivabene seems to want us to have a limitless appreciation for the unknown, the hidden, the unknowable: the mysteries of the universe are unbounded. To have an appreciation of one’s own ignorance is paramount. Arrivabene’s paintings live in the liminal space between psychology and magic. They expand and make tangible the mysteries of the Western Spiritual Tradition. And in doing so, they are a reminder that while Newton was right, so too was Mandelbrot. Our minds are linear, limited, and ruled by reductive cause and effect and a bias towards narrative. But the world is messy, dirty, and with infinite causes, effects and unpredictability. The future and present are opaque. Arrivabene’s work creates a space for the mystery, the unknown, and the hidden.
Drømsjel is drugs. His face-melting psychedelic illustrations should not be illegal. But a prescription should be required. Please view Drømsjel under a doctors’ supervision. You probably shouldn’t view Drømsjel at work, or if you have a heart condition. Side effects can include elevated awesomeness, weirdness, and loss of reality. Ask your doctor if Drømsjel is right for you. (Prints available)
Drømsjel’s artworks ﬂoat freely between illustration and collage, traditional and digital. The artist splices vintage photographs of well-groomed ladies and gentlemen that evoke the standards of 20th-century propriety, turning them into bastions of surreal visions.
Zankoul is an emerging contemporary photographer. Her photography has surreal qualities.
Look at a Zankoul photograph for long enough, and you may become the Buddha; her work stares back from the abyss, and it is silent.
Lara Zankoul was born photographically in 2008. Driven by passion, she taught herself photography and started an enriching journey in the artistic field. During 2009, she completed her 365 project, a personal mission in which she committed on taking a picture every day in a row for a year. She has participated in several local and international collective exhibitions such as the ‘Women’s Art Exhibition’ in Art Lounge Lebanon in 2011 and the 3rd edition of the Festival Photomed in the South of France in 2013. Part of the Shabab Ayyam incubator programme, she was an award recipient at the 2011 Shabab Ayyam Photography Competition. In her solo show at Ayyam Gallery in January 2013, she presented for the first time, her cinematographic work, which was auctioned in April 2013 at Christie’s Dubai.
Thrilled to announce my 3rd solo show in Ayyam DIFC on 20 sept! #Repost @ayyamgallery with @repostapp ・・・ Lebanese artist Lara Zankoul's exhibition 'As Cold as a White Stone' opens on Tuesday, 20 September in Dubai (DIFC). Highlighting an eponymous body of work, 'As Cold as a White Stone' explores what the artist describes as ‘the coldness, resistance, and numbness of human relationships nowadays.’ Read more on our website. ___________ Image: Lara Zankoul 'Triangle', As Cold as a White Stone series, photography on archival cotton paper, 130 x 160 cm, edition of 5 #larazankoul #ayyamgallery #ayyamgallerydubai #difc
Mariano Peccinetti summons surrealistic, space-age visions from beyond time. Surrendering to juxtaposition, loose-association, and dream-logic, new realities emerge from beyond. I see a art movement of artists like Peccinetti, Thom Easton, and more, of artists creating amazing collage art and selling it on sites like Society6.com
Visual Artist & Musician (Collage al Infinito – Las Luces Primeras)
In Matthew Stones work we see visions of the future of art. We see three-dimensional paintings that the user can walk around in. We may be able to walk around in a virtual painting. No more screens. Holograms and connected contact lenses. Or maybe that’s not the point at all– perhaps Stone is showing use an alternate world that we can grasp if we could see the world as a shaman.
Optimism is the Vital Force that Entangles itself with and then Shapes the Future.
– via matthewstone.co.uk
Terry Ringler, also known by his online moniker Trash Riot, is a prolific purveyor of the otherworldly. His work combines imagery taken from period photographs, vintage culture magazines, and what seems to be the best astronomy and geology images published by magazines like National Geographic or Scientific American.
Karen is an analogue and digital collage artist who loves to reinvent vintage imagery into surreal retro-futuristic landscapes.
Inspired by vintage photography, especially the colour palettes of kodachrome and ektachrome photography, Karen studied English Literature and Drama (BA (Hons) Flinders University of South Australia) and is drawn to the beautiful lines and shadows of expressionist, film noir and avante garde cinema. Architecture, geometry and the incredible colours of nature are also frequent sources of inspiration.
And, as with his Fables work, the paintings and illustrations are often suffused with a dreamy romanticism and lyricism worthy of Maxfield Parrish, even as Mr. Jean subverts those and other isms.
Surrealism Today! That’s us! Follow us to get introduced to more great artists. 🙂
Note: at least two artists we’ve featured that had a notable 365 (everyday projects). If you’re an artist just starting out it is a great way to push your work and get it out in public. At the very least after one year you will have a lot of work to choose from to put in your portfolio.
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.