Border Creatures: Adrian Cox's paintings of mythtical, grostesque characters that merge with nature

In his series Border Creatures, Missouri-based artist Adrian Cox weaves an ongoing narrative that "mythologises the lives of a grotesque cast of protagonists". These recurring characters exist in a state of perpetual metamorphosis. As they mutate, they hybridise with mineral deposits, flora, and fauna, allowing an intense physical connection to their environment.

"I consider the narrative in my paintings to be a mythology, a way for me to use fiction or even fantasy in order to speak to a contemporary human experience," Adrian explains. "With this mythic setting, I'm creating a world in which there is no 'pure' way to exist as a human in the world, in which qualities that could be seen as monstrous or grotesque are synonymous with beauty. Ultimately, these paintings create an Arcadia for the Other, for creatures with fluid identities, a space where the language of difference breaks down."

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Adrian attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate studies, and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honours in 2010. He obtained his Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2012. In addition to exhibiting his work nationally, Adrian is the gallery coordinator at the Millitzer Gallery, an alternative art-space in Saint Louis, and currently works as an adjunct lecturer in painting in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University. Discover more at

Via Creative Boom submission | All images courtesy of Adrian Cox


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