Artist Morgan Herrin Transforms Construction Grade Lumber into Surreal Classical Sculptures

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Untitled (2008), dimensional lumber (2×4’s), 82″ x 18″ x 12″

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Untitled (2008), dimensional lumber (2×4’s), 82″ x 18″ x 12″

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Copper Gate (2011), wood, 32″ x 19″ x 12″

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Copper Gate (2011), wood, 32″ x 19″ x 12″

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Untitled (Knight)

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Untitled (Knight)

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“Globe” 2010, Pine 2×4’s, Figure is life-size.

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“Globe” 2010, Pine 2×4’s, Figure is life-size.

Based in Richmond, Virginia artist Morgan Herrin transforms the most humble material—laminated construction grade 2x4s—into spectacularly detailed figurative sculptures. His choice of imagery is surreal: a noble 15th century knight melts into a network of dripping stalagmites or a classical marble bust that is overgrown with parasitic sea creatures. The resulting works are a fascinating juxtaposition of material and subject matter that require up to a year of labor to produce. Of the untitled knight piece Herrin says:

Untitled (Knight) is the product of the combination of two subjects: 15th century plate armor, and geological cave structure. Studied separately, these two subjects are completely unrelated. The manmade geometric precision of plate armor is formally opposite of the flowing, organic stalactites and stalagmites. Seen together, these two parts present a striking contrast in form and create a theme of time and the effects of nature. The pose of the figure and the general composition are references to the classical sculpture “The Dying Gaul” of ancient Roman antiquity. Rendered entirely in laminated construction-grade 2 by 4s, the material itself irreverently contradicts this classical allusion, and at the same time draws attention to our own culture’s reliance on the fast, cheap, and impermanent.

You can learn more about Herrin’s work at ADA Gallery, and Mulherin + Pollard. All images courtesy ADA Gallery. (via My Modern Met)

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