This Baroque-inspired art will get under your skin

Venezuela-based artist Alfonso Elola is equally informed by 17th century art and medical illustration.

Alfonso Elola asks you to read between the lines of his art – a nightmarish body of work full of writhing, skinless figures and twisted, grinning skeletons.

"I'm a lover of composition, complexity, spaces full of details and stunning light," he says. "All of my work has elements of surrealism and Baroque-inspired light – a use of tenebrism."

The young artist studied illustration at Caracas Institute of Design and splits his time between his native Venezuela and Spanish capital Madrid. He cites Diego Velázquez and Caravaggio as his biggest inspirations, but his interpretation of anatomy is, "more emotional than scientific. A breakdown of almost theatrical expressions."

Here's a selection of his gothic-flavoured paintings...

Organic portrait 1

"If we view organic as the essence of everything, we see anatomy in a completely artistic way. Everything relates to the plant and animal world in this portrait, to show characters with a peculiar beauty."

Corporeal scenes 1

Orbit Books creative director Lauren Panepinto loves the intricacy of Alfonso's work. "I enjoy the unique texture. The dramatic lighting makes it look sculptural, almost 3D-modelled. A great mix of simple and complex that reads incredibly well."

Organic portrait 2

Though the artistuses subtle colours in his art, Alfonso is actually colour blind. "This piece is all about separating the anatomy of various characters, whilst representing the same being."

Anatomical phases

"These characters are capable of duplicating themselves over and over again. They represent emotions such as bravery and courage. It's Baroque-inspired and mixed with surrealism."

Words: Alfonso Elola

Alfonso Elola is a Venezuelan artist currently based in Madrid, Spain. He's worked on several series of digital paintings and his most recent is the black and white series Capuchin Objects. This article originally appeared in ImagineFX magazine issue 106.

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