With an absurd and highly conceptual aesthetic, like images plucked from our dreams, Italian-born artist Toni Hamel presents powerful and humorous paintings, which illustrate the ridiculousness of human behavior. When I first discovered Toni’s work, I was instantly drawn to her surreal and colorful images. At first glance, the pieces appear strange and often silly, but there is a complexity lurking beneath the surface, a message at once clear and complex. By working through an absurd lens, Toni’s work interprets “the psychological unease characteristic of our age.” Her two most recent series, “High tides and misdemeanors” and “The land of id,” throw a spotlight on humanity’s often cruel and selfish relationship with the natural world. We see a man in a lab coat painting stars on a horse. Hunters stand on an icy shoreline while pink polar bears float away. A group of people try to capture a unicorn. The images are visually compelling, but they also makes you think and question the world, which is what great art should do.
To check out more of Toni's wonderful work online, click here. You can also follow her on Instagram, right here, and Facebook, here. Read on to learn about her inspirations. Thanks, Toni! ~Erin
"Crimes of the Century" by Supertramp
"For what it's worth" by Buffalo Springfield
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
The Secret Life of Trees by Colin Tudge
First Contact: Canada (APTN - Aboriginal People Television Network)
Escape to the Country (BBC)