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There”s something about the surreal that makes everyone smile. Artist Vladimir Kush”s paintings and sculptures show us an imaginative and ever-expanding world populated by mysterious hybrid creatures and vast spaces. The worlds he creates combine land, air, and sea…and leave us staring.

The Russian-born artist got his start young, taking classes from the age of seven. Later, he would join the military, but his talent was evident even there, and he spent his service time painting propaganda posters. Later, he painted portraits on the street to help support his family. After moving to the U.S. in 1990, he began to gain international attention, and soon his work was being displayed around the world. Today, he has four galleries in the U.S. and is planning to open more in other countries.

Music of the Woods

<i>Music of the Woods</i>

Metamorphosis

<i>Metamorphosis</i>

Lovely Plant

<i>Lovely Plant</i>

Fauna in La Mancha

<i>Fauna in La Mancha</i>

Eye of the Needle

<i>Eye of the Needle</i>

Butterfly Apple

<i>Butterfly Apple</i>

Atlas of Wonder

<i>Atlas of Wonder</i>

Nero

<i>Nero</i>

Arrival of the Flower Ship

<i>Arrival of the Flower Ship</i>

Invitation to Lunch

<i>Invitation to Lunch</i>

Current

<i>Current</i>

Ripples on the Ocean

<i>Ripples on the Ocean</i>

Obvious influences on Kush”s work are Magritte and Dali in both imagery and style. However, Kush”s pieces have a signature of their own, namely a playfulness that would make the paintings, at least some of them, look not out of place as illustrations for fantasy books.

One can”t say that his ideas are derivative, though; on his site, many of the images of his paintings come with a short background on the painting”s concepts, many of which stem from Kush”s own experiences and ruminations.

Besides painting, Kush also creates sculptures and jewellery, which feature the same scenes and characters as appear in his paintings.

Knight Beetle

<i>Knight Beetle</i>

Butterfly Apple

<i>Butterfly Apple</i>

Aries the Sheep

<i>Aries the Sheep</i>

Icarus

<i>Icarus</i>

You can find much more of his work on his site, and keep up with his new work on Facebook.

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