I gasped audibly the first time I set eyes on the work of contemporary artist Leslie Ann O’Dell. Entirely self-taught, O’Dell combines photography, digital art, and sometimes traditional elements to create portraits of nightmarishly beautiful creatures, each born of her own imagination yet to me feel like still more characters from unknown folktales I’m now yearning to track down and read.
O’Dell conjures a bewitching variety of shadowy beings. Mythical monsters with uncommon appetites, transcendent personifications of grief, isolation, hope, and sorrow. Haunting reminders of our fragility and mortality. Phantoms, wraiths, and harbingers. Feral nature spirits, sirens, and dream messengers.
And then there’s this gorgeous piece, entitled Imposter, which makes me pine for more seasons of Hannibal: