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"Allegorical Realism": Paintings by Kevin Sloan

A painting of a monkey tipping coins out of a vase onto a flamingo, painted in a classical realist styleThe Donation

Our featured artist today is Kevin Sloan, a painter who specializes in what has been dubbed “allegorical realism” – paintings which are as beautifully detailed as they are surrealist and absurd.


Attempting to create a conversation about the delicate balance between modern society and ancient, natural process, Kevin’s paintings - which are available as prints on his web portfolio – use an apparently complex and well thought-out series of recurring motifs and strategic imagery. I can’t help but try to imagine clever captions for these images, and try to decipher precisely what Kevin means to say through his work. An overarching theme of the fight for supremacy between nature and human progress is clear without being overt.

Kevin Sloan's print websiteA gallery of Kevin Sloan's prints available for purchase on

A classically realistic painting of a hare sitting among half-eaten fruitsThe Satisfied Hare

Kevin’s painting technique is gorgeous and skillful, as well – it reminds me of the chiaroscuro backgrounds seen in great renaissance paintings, and lends well to the mysterious nature of his subject matter. Animals apparently behaving as if they were humans, combined with the slightly muted tone of the paint, creates an atmosphere that is both fantastic and ominous.


A painting of a parrot weighed down by a stack of ornate teacupsThe Burden of Formality

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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