Realist Paintings of Fabled Characters and Creatures by Matthew Grabelsky

In the vein of the TV show Once Upon a Time or the graphic novel series Fables, Matthew Grabelsky‘s oil paintings show a wide variety of mythical and fairy tale creatures in the modern world. 

Snow White - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Snow White

These paintings, in the artist’s Anomaly series, show yetis and satyrs riding the subway, a toddler riding a dragon outside who is peering into a window, and a man reading a newspaper with an iguana on his head. There are also two different takes on Snow White — one that is similar to the costume of the Disney version, and another where she’s wearing a plaid jumper that feels more contemporary — both standing in front of walls covered in graffiti and “missing” posters with her picture. Grabelsky also has several paintings of women riding giant chickens, and in one she is filling it up with gas.

The painting style and locations are extremely realist, but the characters and situations are surreal, which I find to be an interesting combination. They show a mix of humans, animals, and anthropomorphic characters — for example, the bull-like Minotaur or lion-like Beast — and many of the paintings feature human/beast couples. Seeing these creatures alongside people is both comical and cool. I can definitely imagine a story behind each of these illustrations, and they make me want to find out what happens to these characters.

“These paintings are not intended to be viewed as fantasy or as allegory, but rather as a blend of every-day experiences with the subconscious. They are enigmatic, and create dream-like worlds that invite viewers to form their own interpretations of the imagery presented,” says Grabelsky.

A Juicy Apple - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

A Juicy Apple

 

Emma Snow & The Yeti - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Emma Snow & The Yeti

 

The Abominable Snowman - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

The Abominable Snowman

 

Matteo & The Dragon - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Matteo & The Dragon

 

Satyr's Glance - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Satyr’s Glance

 

Alexandra & The Minotaur - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Alexandra & The Minotaur

 

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

 

Desert Gas - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Desert Gas

 

Knight & The Lady - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Knight & The Lady

 

Shere Kahn & The Jungle Book - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Shere Kahn & The Jungle Book

 

Exit Pursued By a Bear - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Exit Pursued By a Bear

 

Iguana Season - Anomaly - Oil Painting by Matthew Grabelsky

Iguana Season

Tom is a writer, artist, and multi-media guru from Pennsylvania, U.S. He holds a Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication, but he has also taken several university-level courses in fine arts, art appreciation, graphic design, printmaking, and Asian art. He has been blogging for Monde Mosaic since February 2014.

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