Upperplayground News

FLESHY AND GLOOPY CHARACTERS BY GREGORY JACOBSEN

by Ariadna Zierold

gregory jacobsen, painting, surreal, grotesque, flesh, fleshy, colorful, characters, chicago, upper playground

Chicago artist and musician Gregory Jacobsen chooses to render in his awkward acrylic, confidently sensual world flags in butts, shit beaks, and fleshy chunks of meat caught in seemingly intimate moments.

gregory jacobsen, painting, surreal, grotesque, flesh, fleshy, colorful, characters, chicago, upper playground

The candy-coated colors draw the viewer in, only to confront them with a heap of labia coupled with mangy flesh slabs in a chunky meat heap, or a cheery young girl toppled over with a flag stuck in her vagina, a voyeuristic pig smirking behind her. The viewer doesn’t exactly know how to feel, confronted with these awkward, intimate affairs rendered in unsuspecting hues, an effect Jacobsen is after.

gregory jacobsen, painting, surreal, grotesque, flesh, fleshy, colorful, characters, chicago, upper playground

Much like the piles of fleshy, gloopy shapes that walk a fine line between vagina and open wound, the exact purpose of his work is difficult to pin down. Obsessed with failure, ambiguity, and comedic tragedy, Jacobsen appears to care for the characters he creates without fetishizing them.

gregory jacobsen, painting, surreal, grotesque, flesh, fleshy, colorful, characters, chicago, upper playground gregory jacobsen, painting, surreal, grotesque, flesh, fleshy, colorful, characters, chicago, upper playground gregory jacobsen, painting, surreal, grotesque, flesh, fleshy, colorful, characters, chicago, upper playground gregory jacobsen, painting, surreal, grotesque, flesh, fleshy, colorful, characters, chicago, upper playground

REPERTOIRE OF BEASTS BY AMANDINE URRUTY

by Ariadna Zierold

amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground

Amandine Urruty lives and works on her bed, with a suit case full of pens always nearby. After studying at University for long years and a brief career in underground music, Amandine spreads her repertoire of beasts and her gallery of weird characters on all kind of mediums, on paper as on walls. As she masters techniques of traditional drawing, Urruty offers us a cheerful gallery of deviant portraits, associating grotesque outfits with baroque decorum which miraculously reconcile lovers of alchemistic symbolism to young ladies with too much make up.

amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground

Urruty trusts her instincts and draws inspiration from a wealth of eclectic interests which span the wide gap between high art and pop culture. Revelling in the mystique of her decision making process, she engages in the creation of a unique and personal symbolism, which unveils and unravels itself over the course of time.

amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground

ODDBALL CHARACTERS BY NICK SHEEHY

by Ariadna Zierold

nick sheehy, illustration, nature, animals, skulls, surreal, london, upper playground

London based Nick Sheehy (previously featured here) is an Australian-born artist and illustrator who explores the dreamlike, sometimes semi-autobiographical scenes and oddball characters that echo from his childhood imagination. After studying bronze sculpture in the wilds of Tasmania, Nick gave up on art only to re-discover his love of drawing whilst living in London, sparked by an interest in the city’s low brow art, illustration, street art, and graffiti.

nick sheehy, illustration, nature, animals, skulls, surreal, london, upper playground

Employing a laborious technique, building up layers of texture and thin color, his work infuses precision and attention to detail with random abstraction and clumsiness. He enjoys drawing various weird things for himself, exhibitions and publications.

nick sheehy, illustration, nature, animals, skulls, surreal, london, upper playground nick sheehy, illustration, nature, animals, skulls, surreal, london, upper playground nick sheehy, illustration, nature, animals, skulls, surreal, london, upper playground nick sheehy, illustration, nature, animals, skulls, surreal, london, upper playground nick sheehy, illustration, nature, animals, skulls, surreal, london, upper playground

WANDERING COLLAGES BY NICOLA KLOOSTERMAN

by Ariadna Zierold

nicola kloosterman, collage, shape, color, botanical, anatomy, vintage, printed, composition, surreal, netherlands, upper playground

Netherlands based Nicola Kloosterman creates collages using scraps of collected paper and fragments of images that speak to her. She is especially interested in shape and color, the female body, hands, botanicals, and vintage printed material. Kloosterman likes to use a lot of negative space and her images are always quite airy and light.

nicola kloosterman, collage, shape, color, botanical, anatomy, vintage, printed, composition, surreal, netherlands, upper playground

She likes to think of herself as an explorer and a wanderer. Nicola thinks the process of finding images in the torrent of our daily visual communications, carefully excavating them and them recycling them into a new context and narrative is exciting as she never knows where she may end up. Each collage begins with a single image or piece of paper. She then slices, combines, reduces and composes until a new visual narrative emerges on her paper reflecting the incomprehensible, the invisible, the immeasurable and the infinite.

nicola kloosterman, collage, shape, color, botanical, anatomy, vintage, printed, composition, surreal, netherlands, upper playground nicola kloosterman, collage, shape, color, botanical, anatomy, vintage, printed, composition, surreal, netherlands, upper playground nicola kloosterman, collage, shape, color, botanical, anatomy, vintage, printed, composition, surreal, netherlands, upper playground nicola kloosterman, collage, shape, color, botanical, anatomy, vintage, printed, composition, surreal, netherlands, upper playground nicola kloosterman, collage, shape, color, botanical, anatomy, vintage, printed, composition, surreal, netherlands, upper playground

FICTIVE RITUALS BY TALA MADANI

by Ariadna Zierold

tala madani, painting, humor, provocative, narratives, upper playground

Iranian-American artist Tala Madani paints a provocative and humorous discourse on cultural and sexual identity. Picturing the male domain in all its stereotypical glory, Madani’s portraits of Middle Eastern men play out fictive rituals of a deviant, distinctly female imagination: prayer gatherings twisted into homosexual orgies, birthday parties targeted for terrorist attack, and tattoos and body hair plucking construed as the latest in ultra-macho beauty makeovers.

tala madani, painting, humor, provocative, narratives, upper playground

Painted with quick gestures, where oozing paint often doubles as bodily fluids, food, and stains, Madani’s compositions are derived from sketchbooks where countless studies provide the skeleton for her speedy execution. Madani’s pictures are also transformed into stop-motion animations where the artist photographs a freshly created scene over time—wet paint still glistening—resulting in stories of small calamities that are once hilarious, tender, and ghoulish.

tala madani, painting, humor, provocative, narratives, upper playground tala madani, painting, humor, provocative, narratives, upper playground tala madani, painting, humor, provocative, narratives, upper playground tala madani, painting, humor, provocative, narratives, upper playground