A painting of a giant black goldfish over a coastal landscape.

“Black Goldfish at the Cliffs.” All images © Bill Mayer, shared with permission

Reimagining European art historical genres with a special affinity for the Romanticists, artist and illustrator Bill Mayer’s wry and moody paintings (previously) merge fantastical figures with vast landscapes. From a haughty crow with insect companions to a giant goldfish overseeing a lone figure on the coast, the artist’s enigmatic scenes highlight hybrid creatures and unexpected relationships.

“The Bird-Woman” is currently part of Beinart Gallery’s Small Works 2023 exhibition, which runs September 16 through October 8 in Melbourne, and Mayer’s work will also be a part of a group show in December with Principle Gallery. Explore more on the artist’s website and Instagram.


A painting of a grow wearing 18th century garments, with beetles and ants on its shoulders and head.

“Old Crow”

A painting of a frog in a tea cup.

“Afternoon Tea”

A painting of a woman wearing a bird mask.

“The Bird-Woman”

A painting of a giant black swan in a coastal landscape.

“The Black Swan”

A painting of two fairy-like female figures on top of a giant snail.

“La Caracol”

A painting of a giant praying mantis in the foreground of a vast landscape.


A painting of a giant beetle in the foreground of a vast landscape.

“Ringo, the Beatle”

A painting of a monkey wearing royal garments, an eye in the palm of its raised hand.

“The Monkey’s Paw”

A painting of a giant black-and-yellow beetle in the foreground of a landscape.

“When Insects Rule the World (Beetle)”

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