The human mind possesses the ability to leave reality and travel to marvelous realms, and some of us seek to capture those impossible dreams upon a physical canvas. In The Art of Fantasy: A Visual Sourcebook of All That is Unreal, Florida-based writer and blogger S. Elizabeth explores the “sweeping though loosely defined art genre” of fantastic art and its “visual flights of fancy and imagination.” Through full-color reproductions of artwork across a variety of mediums—physical and digital—The Art of Fantasy investigates how artists capture their personal ideas of fantasy, which are just as often grounded in unfamiliar visions as recognizable lore. S. Elizabeth’s curation spans not only the well-known classics such as Hieronymus Bosch and Salvador Dali, but also fresh, contemporary artists such as Yuko Shimizu or Paul Lewin.
Readers will be entranced by colorful assortments of peculiar figures: Ed Binkley’s colored pencil “Corvid Priestess” gazes out regally, while an anthropomorphic rabbit wears traveling clothes in Carisa Swenson’s epoxy clay sculpture “Shining Apples.” S. Elizabeth’s exploration of fantasy landscapes in the book’s last section is particularly compelling and stylistically diverse. Foreboding alien invasions, apocalyptic castles and whimsical aircraft remind us just how unlimited our imaginations can be.