Unexpected juxtapositions and surreal worlds in the work of Armando Veve
In his intricate drawings, Philadelphia-based artist Armando Veve imagines fantastic universes connected to or evolving within new worlds, everyday objects or the unconscious. Although some characters are shown in skillfully executed realistic details, their behavior and refuge in surreal scenes of strange yet evocative beauty separate them from the ordinary.
Mythical creatures, bizarre hybrids and animals mimicking human gestures are mixed with memories of contemporary activities and references to art history and practices. The mind seems a complex laboratory where the experiments of the imagination and the moments of reverie fuse with reality to reveal a possible alter-ego. The mechanism of a pocket watch is dysfunctional – it no longer tracks time but serves as resting place for sleepy human-like figures. Food, plates and plants are pictured floating or used for alchemical purposes. Finally, a frightened horse becomes the image of ongoing conflict and violent wars.
It is no wonder that such captivating representations have contributed to the artist’s impressive portfolio and brought him numerous awards (some recent and upcoming distinctions mentioned below), as well as important commissions from The New York Times, Wired, MIT Technology Review and many other reputed clients.
The Other You. Cover story illustrations for New Scientist magazine, October 2016.
Commissioned by FELT+FAT, Philadelphia. Recently awarded with a Gold Medal in the Society of Illustrators (NYC) annual exhibition.
Alchemy. Commissioned by The Alpine Review – Issue 3.
War Music. Published in The New York Times Book Review, February 26, 2016. For this work, on February 3rd, 2017, the artist will receive a second Gold Medal in Editorial from the Society of Illustrators.
Images © Armando Veve