Surrealist Nightmares, a look at painter Leegan Koo

Surrealist Nightmares, a look at painter Leegan Koo

Artist Leegan Koo is a painter whose dark surreal works encapsulate a feeling of never-ending nightmarish horror. Born in Seoul, Korea Leegan grew up moving from city to city, he lived in places like Philadelphia, New York City, and many more. Living in these cities allowed him to experience many different cultures and became inspired by jazz, hip-hop, and graffiti before he began to create his own paintings in 2011. In many ways, Leegan’s works feel like a string of connected memories fading into the back of one’s mind, the faces of people often replaced by those of animals or inanimate objects.

Snowy rural landscapes and abandoned urban buildings are the backdrops for Leegan Koo’s works. Often these works are set on rainy dark afternoons conveying a sense of sadness within each week. Subjects in these paintings often wear over their heads different mascots, or cartoon characters faces such as Spongebob Squarepants, and the Jack in the box. Each mask made with a fixed smile upon it. This juxtaposition of sad and nightmarish landscape surroundings coupled with the smiling friendly characters we all know and love creates for a very captivating viewing experience and emotional rollercoaster.


Visit the artist’s website here.

Follow Leegan on Instagram here.

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Images © Leegan Koo