This is the second story in a series exploring the connections between art and magic. Click here to read the first.
Sam Wolfe Connelly's haunting, eerie images look like they're right out of a classic German Expressionist horror film, generating equal parts wide-eyed wonder and inexplicable unease. His photorealistic oil paintings and detailed illustrations often depict psychically tortured subjects set against seemingly mundane backdrops, juxtaposing a keen sense of existential angst with the often equally terrifying bounds of earthly existence. Judging by his impressive body of work, it's clear the artist is influenced by the supernatural, and that the world of magic plays a role in his practice. But when viewing his oil paintings and graphite illustrations, the question comes to mind: to what degree does Connelly actually believe in magic, himself?
Raised outside Washington DC, Connelly was trained at the Savannah College of Art and Design, majoring in Illustration. He's since relocated to NYC, where he currently works as a gallery artist and illustrator. In the short time since his graduation in 2011, he's had three solo shows, and his work has appeared in over a dozen group exhibitions. The artist's well-earned early success is due to his singularly spooky vision, and it's evident that a good deal of Connelly' inspiration is somehow rooted in the occult.