Surreal paintings of half-animal, half-plant creatures

Artist Jon Ching fuses animals and plants to create fantastical creatures in his oil paintings

Plants and animals work in harmony every day to create a beautiful ecosystem. While we sometimes overlook the beauty of this relationship, Los Angeles-based artist Jon Ching brings it to the fore with his striking yet enigmatic series of oil paintings. Each of these fantastic pieces combines species of flora and fauna in unique hybrids that the artist affectionately refers to as “flauna”.

From owls covered in moss and mushrooms to fish that blend with the hues of flowers and seahorses that sprout flowers and leaves, Ching creates a variety of colorful combinations.

“The endless wonders of the natural world inspire my artwork; because after one realizes that there is magic in every cell of every living organism, one cannot look away,” says Ching.

“For me, it’s not just life forms that are magical, but also the interconnections that tie everything together. It’s tempting to describe this intricate balance of millions of organisms as supernatural, but in fact, it’s clearly the definition of natural.”

Part of the charm of Ching’s conceptual paintings is the masterful way he brings these surreal creatures to life. Despite being imaginary, they are realistic looking and full of detail.

“My process starts with a lot of looking at color, shape, patterns, and idiosyncratic qualities that both make something unique, but also reference something else,” she continues. “These connections, big and small, are reminders that we are all related as living beings on this planet and act as points for me to connect to.”

Furthermore, Ching’s “flauna” creatures seem to represent the complexity of different environments. “These new creatures play roles of allegory and metaphor in my work, warning us of dangers to come, reminding us of forgotten lessons, or simply to show that magic IS real,” explains the artist.

You can buy original prints and paintings at Ching’s online store. Stay up to date with his latest projects and upcoming exhibitions by following the artist on Instagram.