Artist’s works look extremely realistic and can be confused with digital art.
Matthew Grabelsky‘s oil paintings show a wide variety of mythical and fairy tale creatures in the modern world. Using the New York City subway system as the setting for his work, Grabelsky paints surreal portraits of people who are seemingly normal from the neck down, but who have had their heads replaced by animals, both wild and domesticated.
The appearance of the animal head feels distantly totemic, an archetype for something primordial, ancient, and psychologically motivated. Fascinated by the persistence of animal imagery in mythology and communal cultural imaginaries, Grabelsky superimposes its presence onto his depictions of the contemporary world.
“I make highly detailed realistic oil paintings of people with animal heads. I’ve always loved animals and been fascinated by the ubiquity of part human/part animals creatures seen throughout world mythology. Examples include the Minotaur in Greek mythology and Ganesh in Indian mythology among many others. I take these creatures and place them in contemporary everyday settings. My concept is to capture the subconscious of the characters portrayed and thereby give the viewer a window into their minds. I often include humorous references that connect with the animal portrayed and help tell the story” the artist told in an intreview.
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My mom stopped by my studio and snapped this photo of me finishing up the big oil painting for my solo show “Jungle Train” opening in a week and a half at @thinkspace_art in Los Angeles. I’ve been working on this piece for a month and I’m almost there. Definitely one of the most involved paintings I’ve ever done. DM me your email address if you’d like to be added to my mailing list to receive the advance collector’s preview for the show. The show opens Saturday, August 3rd and runs through August 24th.