Aesop’s pranksters, villains and modest heroes are apposite subjects for sculptor Nicola Hicks, whose work frequently balances the mythical and the anthropomorphic.This exceptional selection of new sculptures form a body of work surrounding contemporary themes, imbuing great energy and combining complex compositions with painstakingly detailed expressions.
It is important to recognize that Hicks is not interested in merely illustrating the fables, rather the works serve as a catalyst for her creative process, providing the foundation upon which she is able to express her own personal visual language. Furthermore, the lively narrative has enabled Hicks to continue her investigation into the effects of gravity on the physicality and assemblage of the works, whilst allowing her to pursue her chosen composition.
The raw-edged, tactile nature of these works epitomizes Hicks’ delight in sculpting. Plaster is blended and contoured into natural forms creating aesthetic qualities rich with spontaneity and strength so as to capture the essence of the characters.This, combined with the large scale of the sculptures forces us to confront the realities of the fables.
Rather than depicting the resolution of each of the fables, the animals are frozen in their moments of decision.The expression of the transitory moment serves to evoke the innate sensibilities of her subjects.The foolish crow has not yet dropped his cheese, unaware that soon he will be hungry and mocked on his branch.
Really cool cityscape sculptures created from recycled computer parts by Italian artist Franco Recchia. The cold mechanics of the dead computer hardware bring a strange quality to the works. And the claustrophobic elements of urban life are nicely captured in how compact each piece is. The sculptures give off a haulted vibe- it’s as if someone pulled the plug out of life itself and all that’s left is a series of plastic, green shells. See more from the series after the jump. (via)
Eric Rieger, alias name (HOT TEA) completed this larger than life installation at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts very recently. It is so large in fact that it spans over two floors, and you can actually lie underneath the hanging mass. The installation is titled Letting Go, and the piece is compiled of orange and yellow colored string 84 miles in length meaning to represent the artist’s interpretation of the sun. As a former MCAD student, being right next to the MIA, I so wish I could teleport back to my art school days to see this in person.
Below is an statement directly from Mr. Rieger:
At least once in our lives we have all had to let go of something we truly love. Whether it be a pet, personal object or in some cases, loved ones. This piece is my interpretation of the sun. The sun brings life and also represents happiness, warmth and energy. When letting go of something or someone we truly love, sometimes it is okay to celebrate their lives along with mourning. This piece represents the warmth and love I have received from those I have had to let go of.
Letting Go will be on view through Septmeber 2 at MIA. (via)
Jan Fabre is an established artist with a long rap sheet — having shown and made installations everywhere from The Royal Palace in Brussels to The Louvre Museum in Paris. It’s impossible to pigeonhole him down into one medium, since he’s worked with materials as diverse as bic ballpoint pens and beetle wings. Not to mention, he’s also an author and theater director on top of everything else. If you happen to be lucky enough to be in the city of Antwerp from now until September 2012, you can view his sculpture installation entitled PIETAS at Park Spoor Noord. But if you go, don’t forget to send us pictures! (via)
Olga Ziemska’s artistic statement appears as a poem on her website. And one of her lines, “The body is nothing without that which surrounds it” is especially important when it comes to art. The Ohio based sculptor has been refocusing her energy into fully serving it too – seeing as how most of her work in the last couple years has involved outdoor installations, which can incorporate a lot more people encompassing them than the few invited into collector’s homes. However, what I like most about her recent work, other than its ability to be shared, is that it’s made up of mainly organic materials sourced from nature. (via)
Ryuta Iida is a Japanese artist who cuts out thick volumes of paper [i.e. magazines and books] to form sculptural objects. I had only seen this done once before by the artist Tim Hawkinson at his solo LACMA exhibit in 2005 and it has boggled me ever since. So, I was thrilled to find out about Ryuta, who is picking up where Hawkinson left off and doing it in their own way. Whereas instead of taking personal photos of themselves to cut into, Ryuta uses popular magazines, thus adding an element of pop culture to their practice. (via)
Rebecca Manson sent me a text message not too long ago with an image of a unicycle she had just sculpted and an accompanying message that read, “Here’s a sneak peek, his name is Peter.” It was adorable and part of an exhibit she had created at CSULB. But then moments later my phone rang, “Daniel” she said in horror, “the main sculpture in my exhibit just broke.”
Until recently I was unfamiliar with the artist Alex Ebstein, but I am glad to have rectified my lack of awareness. There is an honesty to Ebstein’s work that I find readily engaging. The use of yarn or string in an artist’s practice can often shift the aesthetic towards a decidedly crafty end result, but Ebstein manages to use the material with such purpose that it might as well be a drawn line in an architectural blue print. The effectiveness of the work hinges on her ability to merge direct compositional tactics with a more playful approach to the selected materials. Ebstein’s use of string also elevates the intentionality of her mark marking, and then quickly reasserts itself as a method of creating illusory depth in what would otherwise be relatively flat pieces. Taught angular moments combined with purposefully relaxed textures start a visual conversation that I am more than happy to participate in.
I could have just included the ‘eye chart’ pieces because I found them extremely aesthetically pleasing, but the back-story provides a bit of insight that I think most would enjoy. Think of it as a ‘Director’s Commentary’ for the work. Courtesy of Miss Ebstein, “…then for the eye chart pieces. They are more of a weird reflection on (and obsession with) eyesight and my existing eye problems that force me to visit the doctor every month. I’ve had four eye surgeries in three years… I am always nervously checking my vision against things, one eye at a time, so these drawings were kind of my own dark humored joke about being an artist and constantly worrying about my vision.” I am of the belief that ‘going blind’ is one of (if not) the most terrifying things any artist could imagine, and I appreciate the candor with which she addresses what could be an immobilizing reality to those with a more pessimistic outlook on life. Ebstein will be starting grad school this fall, and I am eager to see how this focused environment will affect her work. I also encourage anyone interested in contemporary art to check out the consistently interesting programming at Nudashank – a gallery she co-runs with Seth Adelsberger in the Baltimore area.