Astounding Science Fiction magazine interior illustration
Figurative painter Uldalen explores a dark, shrouded atmosphere with ‘Engulfed’, revelling in a zone between desire and resistance that finds beauty in a dreamlike state clouded by shadow. Uldalen focuses on expression and coded reference over realistic depiction — though the results often fall within that category as the artist meditates on classic renaissance figural work. Such heavy use of black recalls the dramatically lit figural reliefs of Caravaggio blurred in motion, the movement suggested in the painting a static capture of violence or exposure as a form recoils or opens itself, whilst a hand reaches out or balls itself into a fist.
Johnson’s art manifests through a harnessed combination of chance and design — a splash of paint, poured haphazardly direct from a tin to the translucent stretched plastic canvas, becomes a vivid and carnivalesque writhing of forms through a series of delicate, figure-finding embellishments. “Gravedigger”s lively drama of sex, violence and death combines with the strong palette to suggest some Día de Muertos revelation and ceremony. The chromatic aberrations in the cloudy fields of colour come from the unlikely source of paint — collected over time from the artist’s brushes as they’re washed after use, then left to sit and split into separately oxidising layers.