How Would a Hippo Look Wearing Yoga Pants?

French artist Bruno Pontiroli likes to paint animals in impossible, yoga-like positions: a crocodile doing upward facing dog, a deer in wheelbarrow pose, a hippo standing on his tongue, or a cow doing a handstand. His surreal art ranges from the bizarre to simply weird, taking familiar animals and putting them in really uncomfortable positions. 

The passion that drives Pontiroli’s work and its strange, surreal atmosphere is turning “the narrow vision that we have  of the world upside down” and disturbing “our imagination while shaking an accepted reality with images that are as comprehensible as they are familiar.” 

The Freudian notion of the “heimlich” and the “unheimlich” (the familiar, or homely, and the unfamiliar, yet known, waiting to be dug out from our unconscious) comes to mind, as he distorts symbols and mixes incompatible universes to upset our sense of reality.

Surreal art has the ability to take what we know and make us question it. It has the ability to make us see things in a new light. Bruno’s work does exactly this, as we delve in his reimagined animal world.

Scroll down to check out his work.