For years, Portland-based artist Josh Keyes has rendered captivating, out-of-this-world paintings of unlikely animals coexisting within an unlikely setting. Until recently, however, Keyes has confined most of his subjects within organic cubes and geometric platforms. Last week, Keyes released the first set of paintings for his online show, "Far Side of the World." Unlike most of his past isolated studies, this installment The Old Ones allows spectators a deeper look into the dreamlike landscape that Keyes has envisioned for his wildlife subjects—a world which first began in the pages of the artist's sketchbook.

"The endeavor of creating and exploring an inner world began to take shape in the pages of my sketchbook a few years ago, and what began as simple sketches has led to a vast imaginary landscape and epic narrative that unfolds into many directions," Keyes writes.

In The Old Ones, Keyes aims to explore the origins of his subjects, pondering the emergence of new creatures and uncertainties about the future. "It may have been the gradual silencing of the human world or the change in the Earth’s climate that roused them from their deep slumber. One thing is clear, the world has changed …"

But while Keyes' dystopian paintings may resemble scenes from a dream at first glance, perhaps the artist's fantastic yet grim visions are more realistic than we may think. Click through to view some of Keyes' illusory paintings from the latest installment.

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[via ArrestedMotion]