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Artist Profile: Meet Surrealist Jono Dry

 Artist Profile: Meet Surrealist Jono Dry

He usually uses graphite on paper or board. His drawings usually just have a plain black or white background, giving them a dramatic feel.

Jono Dry is a self-taught artist living and working in Cape Town, South Africa. Dry’s large-scale graphite drawings take on subjects like mental health and its metaphors, and consider the complexities of identity, depression and anxiety.

Common to all his work is the empty darkness that surrounds his figures, who stand alone against the black.

Dry’s drawings are at once hyperreal and surreal – his highly-detailed scenes described in pencil with photographic precision.


In composition, Dry is largely influenced by mythology and returns often to the images of archetypes to evoke a momentary recognition in the viewer, a sense of passing familiarity.

The recurring motifs of animal horns, ikebana flower arrangements, fabric, and hot air balloons lend to the artist’s work an obscure symbolism. There is to his drawings a confusion of fact and fiction, the real and unreal, each image appearing as a dark dream.


Jono spends most of his time working on his large-scale drawings, and usually takes about 2-3 months to complete a piece, but he once spent a whopping 5 months painstakingly drawing one of his most complicated artworks.

We don’t even know what’s more impressive about Jono’s work, his incredible technique or the concepts he comes up with for his compositions.

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