Rousseau (1844-1910) / Cheval (1836-1924)
Henri "Douanier" Rousseau and Joseph Ferdinand "Facteur" Cheval: both French, both self-taught artists, both filled lowly jobs (Customs officer and postman respectively) which concealed rich inner lives. Rousseau achieved some degree of acclaim for his paintings, many of which are imaginary jungle scenes. Cheval laboured in obscurity for years creating Le Palais Ideal, an elaborate "Palace" constructed from cement and thousands of stones collected on his postal routes. Cheval's Palace presents an image of Eastern temples from the viewpoint of one who will never see such things for real but knows them only from books or dreams.
Max Ernst (1891-1976)
Major Dadaist/Surrealist artist, some of whose paintings (like Evening Song) owe an obvious debt to Rousseau's jungles although the exotic elements here tend to be deeper and darker. His decalcomania landscapes fuse figures, vegetation and porous rockscapes and have had considerable influence on later artists such as Mati Klarwein.
German painter, most famous for the use of his pictures as album cover art for Miles Davis, Santana, Jon Hassell and Bill Laswell. Also released an album of his own in 1997, No Man's Land, with Per Tjernberg.
American Fantastic Realist, contemporary and friend of Mati Klarwein and H R Giger. Paints glowing, crystalline forms which combine figures, landscapes or abstract elements in a style which blends some of Max Ernst and Ernst Fuchs but with extra qualities of Eastern spirituality.
American collage artist. Came to prominence via Autonomedia book jackets including work for anarchist philosopher Hakim Bey. His intense, exotic, hyper-detailed collages have graced numerous releases on Bill Laswell's Axiom label. Now working with digital imagery.