Skull Hovering Over Paddy Field in Vietnam

Skull hovering over paddy field in Vietnam, surreal art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Interloping, Vietnam. Fairly poetic title on this one. The word interloping makes the skull’s presence sinister and intrusive. Although, perhaps that went without saying anyway. Regardless, I like the phrase.

This continues the theme of skull surrealism, and hopefully levity. Though this particular image might not be as light and jaunty as others, owing to the muted colors and the atmosphere. But it still elicited a smile from some people.

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Blue Skull Floating in Empty Red Space

Blue skull floating in empty red space, surreal artwork by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Blue Shell. Blue descriptively, and shell as a metaphor for skulls in general.

This is a heavily modified version of a previous black and white work I did called Shell Game. As well as adding bright colors, I made this skull float, in line with my predilection for surrealism.

Actually, making skulls float seems to be something I’m drawn to often. I find the concept amusing, and I get lots of satisfaction introducing a bit of levity (so to speak) into what can be quite a dark subject.

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Pink Eroded Skull

Pink eroded skull, surreal art photograph by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Pink Textures. It’s mainly descriptive, but the phrase also appeals to my aesthetic sense, which is why I used it.

The first Textures was in black and white. This updated version was another of my images in reaction to working with no color for so long. I indulged in lots of bright color, reveling in the possibilities of breaking the self-imposed artistic limit of only gray shades.

That’s a bit different for me. Even before I restricted my creative endeavors to black and white, my use of color was normally fairly restrained.

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Skull Floating in Empty Space – Black and White

Skull floating in empty space, surreal art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Black Shell.

The first edit of this image had the same basic composition, but the skull taking up most of the frame. Some time after, it occurred to me to play more with the negative space, making the skull much smaller. It added much more of an appealing sense of emptiness, which was otherwise there but not highlighted.

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Pink Skull Impaled on Pole

Pink skull impaled on a pole, surreal artwork by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Ice Cream. It’s based on a reaction by someone I showed the picture to. Due to the soft pastel colors, they said it reminded them of ice cream. I thought that was funny because the subject matter couldn’t be much further from ice cream, so decided to use it as a name for the image.

This work is another of the first color pieces I did after my black and white stint. The black and white stuff was quite dark, literally and figuratively, and I wanted a change from that.

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Eroded Skull in Pink

Eroded skull in pink, surreal art photograph by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Ice Cream II. Nothing literal about this title, it’s sheer poetic juxtaposition.

Actually, it’s based on a reaction. I showed the first image with this name to someone, and bizarrely they said it reminded them of ice cream. Seeing as it was a skull impaled on a pole, that amused me, so I used it as a title.

This is the same skull but with no pole through it, and a pink background instead of a blue one.

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Yellow Skull on Blue

Yellow skull on blue background, art photograph by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Golden Child. Part literal description because of the color, part poetic subliminal suggestion. I say it often, but I really think introducing that touch of poetic association adds a lot to art, to furrow brows and get the brain thinking, wondering, and interpreting.

This image is one of the first color pieces I did after a protracted black and white stint. That’s why the colors are very intense, probably more than I’d usually go for. After all that black and white, I felt like my world had expanded and I was excited to indulge in this new facet of it.

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