Surreal Abstract Skull Fragment

Skull fragment with white geometric lines on blue background. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Diagesis, which is a lovely word meaning narrative. Part prosaic and descriptive, part meta, because art always involves a narrative. I like the tautological recognition of that without explicit explanation of what the narrative is.

This is a transitional work, halfway between my older skull images and the newer abstract direction.

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Surreal Abstract Jawbone and Lines

Jawbone with geometric lines, surreal abstract artwork in dark blue and peach, by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Peach Vitium.

This is a variation of the original, which is in lighter blue with cherry red, named Cherry Vitium.

I’d generally rather not do endless variations on work, but sometimes when you’re testing ideas multiple iterations catch your eye and it’s worth a couple of versions. In this case, it was the different tones of blue. Comparatively, the darker shade in this one is almost more a silhouette, and I find the lower contrast look of it compelling.

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Surreal Abstract Jawbone and Stripes

Shark jawbone with geometric stripes, surreal abstract artwork in red and blue-green, by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Cherry Vitium.

That V-shaped bone is actually a shark jaw, or at least half of one. It’s an odd looking species named the Port Jackson shark.

As it looks like a V, I decided to give it a name starting with that letter, and I came across vitium in my search. It’s a Latin word meaning fault, crime, or defect, depending on where you look. I thought with cherry prefixed it had a nice poetic quality.

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Surreal Abstract Shapes With Lines

Curved shapes with geometric lines. Surreal abstract artwork in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Avidity.

The curved shapes beneath the lines are the same as in Propinquity, from a photo of a saxophone I took. Those shapes are the keys, which I isolated and distorted.

It’s a simple image, but composing all the elements was surprisingly time-consuming and involved a lot of experimenting. But that’s always the way—I rarely have a concrete idea of where I want an image to go, but I know what I don’t like. So the process is to tweak and test till it works. Probably not the most efficient workflow in the world, but it gets me there in the end.

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