Issue 40 of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, with fantasy art legend Kinuko Y. Craft’s enchanting painting “Sweet Helen” on the cover is on sale now! Contact one of our Stockists or Shop Online, but don’t miss this special Issue. Take a peek at whats inside below.

Inside this Issue, we immerse ourselves in the work of American painter J Louis, an artist whose very raison d’être is the making of art. Through his work, we can see that with sensitivity, respect, and an acknowledgement of his female subjects innate strength and beauty.

With a wave of her wand-like brush, Katie Gamb sweeps us away from mundane reality, casting us into the charming settings she conjures into existence. Her art speaks not to a nostalgia for a geographical or literary place from our pasts, but rather a nostalgia for journeys on the wings of our untainted and uncomplicated imaginations, with the great storytellers of old as our guides or the occasional imaginary friend. Learn more about Katie and her work in this inspiring issue.

There still is a tension between the two versions of my own art and storytelling – the lighter and the darker versions.

Katie Gamb

Cover artist, Kinuko Y. Craft – otherwise known as the beloved mother of fantasy, is the master of illustrating visionary worlds of legend and make-believe. Her work can be described as biblical for imaginative souls because it charts the mysterious realms of lore and myth: inside this issue we find ourselves in the ripe forests of palatial gardens, the clouds of sky kingdoms, and the jelly-blue waters of sunken cities. Kinuko’s art appeals to the young and old, and welcomes us back into our childhood bedrooms where we can once again lose ourselves in adventure stories and become the protagonists of heroic tales.

Kinuko Y. Craft

Her drawings burst with imagery, a volcanic eruption of luscious fauna, flora, and gilden figures. Our cover feature for this issue, Sweet Helen, depicts an angelic woman born from a golden egg. She floats like a fae, swathed in a chrysalis, above a pond of lily pads.

Excerpt from Kinuko Y. Craft’s interview by Andrea Kovacic
Alessandra Maria

We also take a keep dive into Alessandra Maria’s work, where the figures depicted are portrayed with very soft features. Paying homage to Renaissance drawings, Alessandra uses her chosen medium’s advantage, shading lightly enough for facial features to emerge but not dark enough to fall into the shadowy depths of the charcoal’s true nature.

I have always been interested in the way humanity chooses to portray feminine divinity across cultures. There are many converging threads historically, primarily around the idea of the woman as maiden, mother, or crone [which are] categories structured primarily by [women’s] utility to men and reproduction.

Alessandra Maria

In this Issue’s Artist + Artist editorial artist couple Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo share an intimate conversation about life, their shared history in bodybuilding, and a sense of playfulness and humour that is integral to this duo’s practices. The couple, both partnered in marriage and sometimes within their painting, are as much in demand as ever. An aesthetic set in stone in previous generations of fantasy, it is like visual popping candy for the brain to see modern actors portrayed amidst the dramatic environments. Look closer, and you will see the subtleties of modern culture embedded. This wonderful mix of nostalgia and contemporary references is refreshing, playful – and most importantly, shows there is very much still a place for fantasy painting in the modern age.

Inspire your own practice as Amanda Greive takes us through the creation process of one of her incredible paintings. The creative relationship with flowers is a signifying element within her paintings. We discover her vision and watch it unfurl in this issue’s Path To Creation.

Amanda Greive

We learn what Sherri J Trahan, Director of Corey Helford Gallery would like to add to her personal collection, in this Issue’s Curator’s Wishlist.

POSE – From Sherri J Trahan’s , Director of Corey Helford Gallery, Curator’s Wishlist

Our perception of others would change if we could see the fragility of their inner world, as they truly are. I update the classic baroque vanitas, vanitatis theme by addressing how we are all the same on the inside. Another thing that drives my work is the fact that we can hoard goods and riches, but we cannot take them to the grave.

Fernando Vicente

Blissfully unaware of the mortal realm’s rules, we experience everyday moments entirely unencumbered, our wide-eyed wonder peering through a lens of magic and all that is the art of Fernando Vicente inside this special issue.

Fernando Vicente

Inside this issue Japanese-born and now New York-based sculptor Chié Shimizu [Winner of the 2022 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, Sculpture Award] invites us to rid ourselves of all stereotypes before embarking on the journey she carved for herself and, by extension, others: “I choose figurative sculpture as an aesthetic means and to visualise the invisible, and to explain the unexplainable, in a manner that speaks to all of us. My ideal form of art is that which reflects my thoughts and feelings in the most honest and direct ways possible, so that the message is clear”.

We also dive into the joyful imagination of Lucia Heffernan, an artist who strives to give animals a voice whilst showcasing the unique and often absurd sides of the human experience. Her wicked sense of humour and adoration for animals is bound to make anyone smile.

At first I was painting wildlife more in their natural settings. But over time, I found it much more interesting to imagine the animals in absurd situations; creating stories in the paintings was more fun for me.

Lucia Heffernan

Next we are welcomed to look through the creative lens of Anna Karvounari. She is her own Venus, her own artistic subject. Her photographs are self-portraits and explorations of femininity that oscillates between pain, sorrow, joy, melancholy and euphoria. A woman represented by and for herself, in all her complexity.

As well, in this Issue of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, let us introduce you to the inspiring aesthetic merits of Solmaz Tohidloo’s hyper realistic, traditionally rendered acrylic paintings. Our eyes are indeed surveying an entrancing vision of loveliness that is even more affecting due to the direct gaze of the Tehran-born artist’s bedecked belles, which suggests that – regardless of the trials and tribulations that they have endured – their emotional and spiritual resilience remains as potent as ever.

She is artistically documenting what she perceives to be the dynamic and eternally hopeful aura that emanates from her many sisters around the globe. Her luminous ladies are a multi-faceted manifestation of those who perpetually rise from the ashes of despair to soar like a phoenix.

Excerpt from Solmaz Tohidloo’s article by elizah leigh
Johan Barrios

Do we dare continue on into the complex and infinite universe of Johan Barrios? Yes, of course. Come with us as we travel further through Issue 40 as Johan offers a space to explore the concept of balance and feel the ambivalent sensation that is only to be found between two opposing realities and extremes – fearing emptiness, darkness, and solitude prevents us from embracing what we seek.

Let us also delight in the full page reproductions of kelogsloops and a world of watercolour on paper, inside this Issue’s awe-inspiring Lookbook editorial.


In our Snapshot series, we ask six artists: Kim Anderson [Honourable Mention, 2022 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize], Mei Mei, Yousuke Kawashima, Tanja McMillan, Taj Francis and Dan Zollinger answer the same quick questions:

  • If you had to choose only three words that you feel best describes your work, what would they be, and why?
  • What advice did you get as a young artist that still influences you today?
  • What do you love most about the medium you have chosen to work in?
  • How does art add value to society?

In her Letter from the Editor, our Editor-in-ChiefDanijela Krha Purssey celebrates the start of 2023, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s 10th year in business! She also shares the exciting news of launching the Beautiful Bizarre Artist Directory soon [more information on that soon], and the joys of this year’s Art Prize, especially our new Emerging Artist Award.

2023 is our 10th year in business – time sure does fly when you’re having fun! I still have to pinch myself sometimes, when I consider how very fortunate I am to be working every day immersed in my passion. To be surrounded by an amazing, dedicated team, and so many inspiring creatives on a day to day basis is both a blessing and a joy, and for which I am deeply grateful.

Danijela Krha Purssey

We also highlight more of the artisan fashion designers that have caught the eye of our Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief, in this Issue’s Some of our Favourite Things editorial.

And last but not least, enjoy a collection of the amazing hash tagged #beautifulbizarre artwork from our social media community of over 1 million followers!

All this inside Issue 40 // March 2023, which showcases some of the best and most inspiring emerging and mid-career artists of our time.


Visit our online store and enjoy Beautiful Bizarre Magazine Issue 40.

About Author

Internationally exhibited artist and creator of Wooden Ophelia, Bella Harris is not only the Online Editor at Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, she also oversees all staff writers and helps support website functionality and development. As a contributing writer for the website, active copy editor, and editorial photographer, she plays a vital role in the growth of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine while working closely with advertisers and artists. Wooden Ophelia is a contemporary collection of original moon designs, handmade woodwork, artwork furnishings, and sacred crystals... all to enchant your home.


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