surrealism

OLIVER VERNON

(1972, New York, US)

Oliver Vernon received his BFA from Parsons School of Design in 1995, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He has exhibited his work in cities all across the United States including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, and Chicago, and has also shown in London and Toronto. His work is part of numerous collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Visually, Vernon’s paintings draw upon an incredibly varied pool of influences, from abstract expressionism, to post pop surrealism and the polished finish of figurative realism. Formally, his work is about the deconstruction, and hence the necessary reconstruction of visual space. From this central dichotomy stems many others: logic/illogic, physical/metaphysical, imprisonment/liberation. His paintings come to us, perhaps, as detailed snapshots of the few primordial milliseconds when the blueprint of the universe was being sculpted from the final throes of chaos. In this sense, anything goes. 

Each painting has it’s own set of rules, or rather the rules are being bent, broken and ultimately formed within each painting. Color, form, energy, architecture, good, evil, flesh and machine are lurking, never as physical entities, but as transient archetypes searching out their final places within the framework of the cosmos. Apart from this macro view, Oliver’s work can be seen at the micro level as well. We can view his paintings as representations of how the mind is formed from a foundation of thought, reason, and aesthetics, and how these entities are simultaneously at odds and interconnected.

Watch this video of his exhibition "Renegade Trajectories" by Colin M Day


GREG 'CRAOLA' SIMKINS

(1975, California, US)

Greg “Craola” Simkins was born in 1975 in Torrance California, just south of Los Angeles. He grew up with a menagerie of animals including a number of rabbits, which often emerge in his paintings. He began drawing at the early age of three and was inspired by various cartoons and books. Some standout books that still find their way into his art are Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

Simkins’ art continued to progress to the age of 18, when he started doing graffiti under the name “CRAOLA”. Graffiti art became his impetus for creating and gave him the confidence to paint large works. In addition it taught him perspective, color theory and further developed his artistic skills, which later translated into his work with acrylics.

It is his careful weaving of pop culture, the old masters, nature, carnival kitsch, and his warped imagination, that makes Greg Simkins a sought-after surrealist painter today. Simkins’ artwork has appeared in museums and galleries throughout the world.

Watch this video by Trekell Art Supplies: