Tim Lokiec’s figurative paintings and drawings of “teens at play” suggest the dreamy doodling of a kid in a dull biology class or one whose consciousness has been altered by doses of cough syrup and huffing. Like erotically charged daydreams, the work’s subjects exist in a place where the real, the fictional, and the fantastical collide.

During his first solo exhibition, Lokiec posted an explanation to visitors, saying that his paintings are “an attempt to reconcile the difference between cat-lovers and dog-lovers.” It’s hard to please everyone. But his paintings and drawings create an environment in which wide-eyed innocence and unexpected menace commingle, traversing adolescent fantasy and teenage drug-induced reverie. Playfully brooding, naïvely beautiful, his is a surreal, faux-outsider world that’s expressive and hallucinatory—one where a mirage of a doll-like face or an uncoiling serpent can appear in the sky, and where childlike characters from fairy tales wander into dark landscapes from tumultuous nightmares.

Padded Room, 2003, courtesy: LFL Gallery
Untitled, 2003, courtesy: LFL Gallery
Oranges, 2002, courtesy: LFL Gallery
Untitled (Beyond and Back), 2003, courtesy: LFL Gallery