Today’s artist is Camilla D’Errico, an Italo-Canadian who is part of the Pop Surrealism art movement. Pop Surrealism is a newer movement of artwork that takes popular mainstream icons and blends it with surreal imagery in a Dali-esque manner. It is part of Lowbrow Art, which is a once underground movement out of Los Angeles, CA in the late 1970s. It’s cultural roots are from underground comics, tiki culture, hot rod culture and punk music. D’Errico is more classically trained, receiving her Illustration and Design diploma from Capilano College in 2001. She’s worked with companies such as Dark Horse Comics, Random House, Hasbro, and Walt Disney.
D’Errico did not start out trying to fit into the Pop Surrealism movement, she was externally labeled by it and now stands next to names such as Robert Williams and Gary Panter. D’Errico’s art career was actually inspired by the Sailor Moon series. Her portraiture is also influenced by American comic book art, mythology and folklore. D’Errico is known to use Holbein Aqua Duo paints, a water-soluble oil paints, on wooden panels for her colored pieces. When using canvas she tends towards arcylics and inking pens. A modern sort of artist, she also will draw a piece by hand but then color it digitally via computer.
Her narrative portraits masterfully capture an emotive essence by seamlessly weaving manga and western styles of art with surrealist elements. D’Errico uses color, textures, animals, and patterns, as well as facial features to tell her stories. She expertly balances the creepy and the innocent and captures the core of each character in what feels like a moment of vulnerability.
There is a fluidity about her surrealism that draws the eye inward toward the portrait. It gives her pieces a sense of movement, as if this one moment was not a planned pose but captured by chance. There is almost the sense that looking at it is an invasion into someone else’s being. She has conveyed something highly personal and yet universal in each composition.
Each piece is heavy with symbolic meaning to convey an overall emotional state that is a story all on its own. Within each painting or drawing, every choice is made with meaning so that each element comes together to tell that character’s story in stunning fashion. A quick glance at one of her works may provide a synopsis but the layers of meaning within the details can keep someone entranced in contemplation for hours.