A curious oil painting by artist Erik Thor Sandberg.
In the “personal interests” section on his Facebook page, Quantico, Virginia-based artist Erik Thor Sandberg includes the following “things”: dead things; naked things; vintage things; antique things; disturbingly cute things, and acutely disturbing things. All of which rather accurately describe Sandberg’s art, which borders on the genre of Magic Realism. The term was first used by art historian and photographer Franz Roh to identify artists operating within that realm following the Post-Expressionism period, a term used to describe artistic movements that occurred following WWI, which was also coined by Roh. If this is at all confusing to you, that’s okay. Let’s just say that the calling card of an artist associated with Magic Realism includes the incorporation of realistic images and scenarios into fantasy-based situations. Which is exactly what Sandberg excels at—creating beautifully weird and deeply disturbing paintings of people in peril or impossibly bizarre, often erotic-themed situations.
Sandberg’s nudes are uncompromising and at times preposterously proportioned. Perhaps they are missing a limb or trapped in an impossible-looking contraption or circumstance. His work also possesses distinct dream-like qualities—or perhaps more accurately a nightmare that involves narratives that defy any logical explanation. Many of Sandberg’s works incorporate animals, so perhaps a fox is silently gnawing off a naked toddler’s foot in a tranquil setting under a tree. Or maybe it’s a pair of semi-nude women involved in a tryst on top of an angry lion clutching a small dog in his enourmous paw. Anything goes really, and that’s the beauty of Sandberg’s wonderful mind and remarkable talent as a painter: his complete committment to conveying both the grotesque and imperfect nature of human beings in ways that push the boundaries of the imagination. I’ve posted a selection of Sandberg’s paintings below and every last one of them is NSFW. Bravo!
A close look at the right panel of Sandberg’s painting ‘Once and Future.’
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Better Call Saul: The surreal, politically-charged Pop Art of Peter Saul
From Russia with drugs: The twisted erotic surrealism of Dmitry Vorsin
Naughty nuns, Nosferatu and BDSM: Surreal works by the master of ‘anything goes’ Clovis Trouille
Surreal depictions of the human body by the ‘Hannibal Lecter’ of the art world
Surreal images of exquisite women and their strange companions