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Surreal, Symbolic Images by Kevin Sloan

A painting of a bird pulling flowers off a branchNaughty Bird, archival pigment print

Kevin Sloan uses painting to bring light to the silent plants and animals with which people share the world. Using a realistic painting style, Kevin creates surreal, symbolic images in which exotic animals interact in unusual ways with human objects and implements.


A painting of a stork carrying numerous suitcasesWelcome to the Wilderness, archival pigment print

I find that Kevin’s painting style is quite effective with his chosen subject matter. The way the artist renders plants and animals is almost reminiscent of antique books of naturalism and science, a categorical style of realism that focuses on getting each fine detail precisely right. This realistic style is jarring when compared with the cartoonish predicaments and circumstances in which the animals are placed.


A screen capture of the image gallery on Kevin Sloan's websiteThe available prints on Kevin's website


In a few recent works, Kevin has taken to depicting animals with a coat of ornate wallpaper, a white background with a pale blue floral pattern. The animals, still rendered in a fully realistic style, appear even more surreal, as if they’ve been painted by an unseen hand, within an existing painting. 


A painting of an elephant coated in ornate wallpaperThe Sleep of Reason, archival pigment print

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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