Surreal oil paintings of a world taken over by giant bugs and flying sharks

Otter City 1

Caleb Brown's oil paintings bring us into a bizarre end-of-days scenario where super sharks, massive insects and towering otters take over humanity from every angle. They're beautiful, meticulously-crafted photorealistic representations of an unbelievable surreal world. I found Caleb's work through Reddit's Art section, where it regularly tops the charts. You can easily get lost in each painting. What makes them so captivating?


Part of what fascinates me is the time it must have taken to create each image.

"I've been working on this one body of work for over six years now," says Caleb. "After several failed attempts to paint about the modern world through more conventional avenues, I came to the conclusion that it was kind of a ridiculous goal to attempt to describe contemporary issues using an antiquated art form. I've found that the framework that I've set up for myself has allowed for a lot of room to grow as I build on and flesh out the world that I'm creating."


It's not just the years of effort put into these works that makes them stick in your mind. The paintings' focus on the same near-future world suggests that maybe you could find yourself in these situations. The real kicker is the framing: Frequently the paintings feature a first-person view through a window onto the action outside. You can imagine yourself in this same position because you've seen it so many times before.


Shark Drop 3

I want sky-diving sharks on my next flight, please. Below, a work-in-progress shot of Otter City 2.

Otter City 2 (work in progress)