Marcelo Gallegos may draw monsters, but there’s nothing ugly about his watercolor-tinged illustrations. Whether he’s drawing the Easter Bunny as Cthulhu, the piranha plants from Super Mario Bros. or his own wind-up creature designs, Gallegos shapes and colors each image as if preparing them for an elaborately illustrated storybook.
Gallegos pokes and prods at the shapes of existing pop culture monsters while conducting wilder experiments with biological and mechanical shapes. Sometimes, the end results are silly, as with his Lovecraftian monster mashups. More often, though, he produces gorgeous and surreal critters that seem destined for their own narrative universe. His “Yokai” series, on the other hand, translates browsers and social media sites into malevolent beasts. Somehow, the Twitter Fail Whale seems less pathetic when it’s coughing up hollow-eyed birds instead of being held aloft by them.
You can see more of Gallegos’ completed pieces, as well as his sketches and studies at his website.