Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Grabelsky combines a hyperrealistic painting technique with a surreal penchant for unlikely juxtapositions. Raised in New York City, Grabelsky uses its subway’s underground world as the setting for his unlikely pairings.

Grabelsky’s works depict couples on subways, often nonchalantly reading magazines or newspapers, but the male figures in these dyads are strange, quasi-mythological human hybrids with animal heads. Deer, bears, elephants, tigers, and everything in between, make a suited appearance in rush hour. By contrasting the platitudes of the day-to-day with the presence of the extraordinary and unlikely, Grabelsky stages the unexpected within the most unassuming of circumstances.
The appearance of the animal head feels distantly totemic, an archetype for something primordial, ancient, and psychologically motivated. Fascinated by the persistence of animal imagery in mythology and communal cultural imaginaries, Grabelsky superimposes its presence onto his depictions of the contemporary world. For the artist, the animal becomes a manifestation of the inner workings of the hidden subconscious, literally revealing the latent identities and motivations lurking beyond the composure of the human mask.
Technically inspired by 19th Century academic and naturalist painters, Grabelsky creates these unlikely, surreal scenes with a staggering degree of realistic detail. The contrast created between the visual verisimilitude of the works, and the surreal improbability of their content catches the viewer in a prolonged moment of convincingly suspended disbelief.

Artist Website: http://www.grabelsky.com

Current and Previous Works by Matthew Grabelsky

If you have any questions or would like to purchase any of the works below, please send an email to contact(at)thinkspacegallery.com.

For more information regarding purchases, shipping, and payment methods, please click here.

Sort Works by:

  • “1 To Penn Station”

    (2015)
    $1,700
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    12" × 12"
    30 × 30 cm

    Show:

    • Curated exhibit @ the Honolulu Museum of Art School
  • “6 To Brooklyn Bridge”

    (2015)
    $1,100
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    10" × 10"
    25 × 25 cm

    Show:

    • ‘La Familia’ – Thinkspace 10th Anniversary Show
  • “79th Street”

    (2016)
    $1,900
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    12" × 12"
    30 × 30 cm

    Shows:

    • Scope Miami 2016
    • LAX / ORD – curated show at Vertical Gallery (Chicago, IL)
  • “86th Street”

    (2015)
    $1,700
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    12" × 12"
    30 × 30 cm

    Show:

    • LAX / LHR – co-curated show with Stolen Space in London, England
  • “Brooklyn Bound”

    (2015)
    $2,200
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    16" × 20"
    41 × 51 cm

    Show:

    • Gumbo
  • “Canal Street”

    (2016)
    $1,900
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    12" × 12"
    30 × 30 cm

    Show:

    • Underground (Project Room)
  • “Christopher Street”

    (2016)
    $2,400
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    16" × 20"
    41 × 51 cm

    Show:

    • The New Vanguard – Taking place at The Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH)
  • “Claire & Leo”

    (2015)
    $5,600
    Sold
    Oil on canvas
    36" × 48"
    91 × 122 cm

    Shows:

    • Gumbo
    • LA Art Show 2015 – ‘Littletopia’
  • “Columbus Circle”

    (2016)
    $1,900
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    12" × 12"
    30 × 30 cm

    Show:

    • Underground (Project Room)
  • “Downtown 6 Train”

    (2014)
    $2,200
    Sold
    Oil on Panel
    Framed (dimensions are of artwork only)
    13.5" × 24"
    34 × 61 cm

    Show:

    • Fresh (Main Room)
  • “Downtown Express”

    (2015)
    $1,700
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    12" × 12"
    30 × 30 cm

    Show:

    • Gumbo
  • “Exit At Union Square”

    (2015)
    $2,200
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    16" × 20"
    41 × 51 cm

    Show:

    • LAX / DTW – Curated show at Inner State Gallery (Detroit, MI)
  • “Franklin Street”

    (2016)
    $4,200
    Available
    Oil on wood panel
    24" × 24"
    61 × 61 cm

    Show:

    • Underground (Project Room)
  • “Houston Street”

    (2016)
    $2,400
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    16" × 20"
    41 × 51 cm

    Show:

    • Underground (Project Room)
  • “Iguana Season”

    (2012)
    $2,800
    Sold
    Oil on canvas
    Blue Iguana
    18" × 22"
    46 × 56 cm

    Show:

    • with Born Free USA Co-curated by Amanda Erlanson and Andrew Hosner
  • “Jones Beach”

    (2017)
    $2,000
    Available
    Oil on wood panel
    On Loan to Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
    12" × 12"
    30 × 30 cm

    Show:

    • Pow Wow Hawai’I 2017 – (Taking place at Honolulu Museum of Art School)
  • “Lincoln Center”

    (2016)
    $5,200
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    25" × 30"
    64 × 76 cm

    Show:

    • Underground (Project Room)
  • “Mandy & Mr. Buck”

    (2014)
    $2,200
    Sold
    Oil on Panel
    Framed (dimensions are of artwork only)
    18.5" × 21"
    47 × 53 cm

    Show:

    • Fresh (Main Room)
  • “Morning Commute”

    (2015)
    $1,700
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    12" × 12"
    30 × 30 cm

    Show:

    • Scope Miami Beach 2015
  • “Penn Station”

    (2016)
    $7,200
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    36" × 48"
    91 × 122 cm

    Show:

    • Underground (Project Room)
  • “Red & Mr. Wolf”

    (2014)
    $600
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    6" × 6"
    15 × 15 cm

    Show:

    • AQUA 2014
  • “The C Train”

    (2015)
    $2,200
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    15.5" × 22"
    39 × 56 cm

    Show:

    • Beyond Eden
  • “Times Square”

    (2016)
    $3,200
    Available
    Oil on wood panel
    18" × 24"
    46 × 61 cm

    Show:

    • Underground (Project Room)
  • “Union Square”

    (2016)
    $3,200
    Sold
    Oil on wood panel
    18" × 24"
    46 × 61 cm

    Show:

    • Underground (Project Room)
  • “Van Cortlandt Park”

    (2016)
    $2,400
    Available
    Oil on wood panel
    On Loan to Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
    16" × 20"
    41 × 51 cm

    Shows:

    • Flourish (Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum – Mesa, AZ)
    • Nexus – taking place at The Brand Library & Art Center
  • “Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?”

    (2012)
    $2,800
    Sold
    Oil on canvas
    18" × 24"
    46 × 61 cm

    Show:

    • Picks of the Harvest 2012
  • “Yeti’s Girl”

    (2014)
    $1,800
    Available
    Oil on Panel
    Framed (dimensions are of artwork only)
    14.5" × 18"
    37 × 46 cm

    Show:

    • Fresh (Main Room)