Like any other oil paint artist Matthew Grabelsky too creates portraits of people and places which he encounters in his everyday life, but what separates Grabelsky art from other’s is the way he creates the perfect balance between the reality and the fantasy worlds. Grabelsky art mainly focuses on the NYK subway and its subway riders, his work depicts couples on subways casually reading magazines or newspapers. Where the female figures are just the normal ones, whereas their male counterparts are with animal face. Some kind of human hybrid with head of animals like tiger, panda, bears, elephants, lion, fox, wolves and many more.
The situation looks weird, but it is supposed to be a tongue and cheek kind of scenario. With his work, Grabelsky tries to bring attention to the different people living and commuting in this city of 8.5 million. Most we don’t notice wrapped up in our own thoughts and ideas. On the other hand, his skill level as a painter is easily apparent and why the Memling comparison is mentioned. He faithfully captures his subjects in a photo realistic way, but leaves room for the paint to settle and appear obvious to the eye.
Fascinated by the persistence of animal imagery in mythology and communal cultural imaginaries, Matthew Grabelsky superimposes its presence onto his depictions of the contemporary world. For the artist, the animal becomes a manifestation of the inner workings of the hidden subconscious, literally revealing the latent identities and motivations lurking beyond the composure of the human mask.
These artwork are part of his successful “UNDERGROUND” series, which was recently showcased in Culver City, California’s Thinkspace Gallery