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Art

New Miniature Architectural Structures Carved Into Raw Stone by Matthew Simmonds

March 25, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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“Corona” (2016), Faxe limestone, height 30cm

Matthew Simmonds (previously) sculpts miniature architectural structures from raw stone. Part of his interest in producing these pieces is centered around the contrast between the carved precision of his hand against the rough nature of the natural material he chooses for each work. The pieces’ concept also deals with this human influence on raw environments, humans physically displaying their beliefs and achievements by building large physical forms.

“In my sculptures I am concerned with the common human achievement; the cultural expressions thrown up by different societies, and how the various cultural traditions interact with and influence each other,” said Simmonds in an interview with Colossal. “Stone is the thing that survives the most from older times, and has an inherent sense of strength and permanence that has given it a central role in historical architecture. It is also a natural material, and in this way it inherently has a connection with the Earth’s past.”

Simmonds work Ringrone was commissioned for a client who owns a castle in Ireland that lays in ruin. Simmonds’ sculpture depicts what he believes to be the castle’s original appearance as a “tower house” from the 15th century in which vaulted rooms would be stacked upon each other with twisting passages. The miniature form responds to this internal maze by its play with light, which he hopes “encourages this sense of exploration.”

You can see more of the Copenhagen-based artist’s work on his website.

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“Tetraconch” (2015), limestone, height 31cm, all images courtesy of Matthew Simmonds

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“Ringrone” (2016), Faxe limestone, height 61cm

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“Ringrone” (2016), Faxe limestone, height 61cm

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“Ringrone” (2016), Faxe limestone, height 61cm

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“Ringrone” (2016), Faxe limestone, height 61cm

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“Ringrone” (2016), Faxe limestone, height 61cm

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Ringrone – material, Faxe limestone, 2016, height 61cm

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“Ararat: study II” (2016), Faxe limestone, height 20cm

 

 



Art

Star Wars Characters Reimagined as Ancient Greek Statues by French Artist Travis Durden

November 10, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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I’ve never specifically asked myself what Yoda and and Darth Vader might look like if reimagined as classical Greek nudes, but I can’t say I’m disappointed that somebody made this non-dream a reality. Artist Travis Durden took this idea to an artistic level, using digital technology to sculpt five Star Wars figures out of faux-marble. The heads of each of the sculptures are pulled directly from the movie franchise, while the bodies are sourced from statues found within Paris’s Louvre. The new amalgamations display a softer side to the characters, Darth Vader now sporting tendrils of hair that fall from his once menacing mask, and a stormtrooper casually reads from an ancient text.

The artist behind the sculptures chooses to remain hidden, his artist’s name a mash-up of characters from two of his favorite cult films. [I can only guess where his last name comes from.] Durden is interested in also creating mash-ups within his work, opposite worlds converging to create an original composite. His Star Wars sculptures are his newest works, and can be seen in the exhibition “Contre Attaque,” or counter attack, currently at Galerie Sakura in Paris. Prints are available on Galerie Sakura’s website here. (via Designboom)

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Art

These Veiled Figures of Bronze and Marble by Kevin Francis Gray Seem to Drip with Fabric

September 15, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Ballerina, 2011. Grey Bardiglio Marble. 190 x 45 x 52cm

Irish sculptor Kevin Francis Gray works primarily with bronze and marble to create idealized figures draped with fabric in the style of Neoclassical or Baroque figurative sculptures. Though, unlike gods or royalty that one might expect to see rendered in such incredible detail, Gray instead creates anonymous depictions of regular individuals he encounters near his studio in London, often people struggling with addiction or other difficult, real-world issues. From an essay about Gray’s work by Rachel Wilf:

The resulting works portray these subjects—often with personal histories marred by contemporary demons such as addiction—with dignity and importance, yet they also express a somber, contemplative quality emphasized by the artist’s consistent shrouding of his subject’s faces.

While some artists now rely on laser cutting or other machines to cut from marble, Gray instead works by hand, from start to finish, chiseling away just like Gian Lorenzo Bernini or Giuseppe Sanmartino might have done in the 17th or 18th century.

Gray studied at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and received an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmith College in London. He’s now represented by Pace Gallery where he had his first exhibition with them earlier this year. You can see much more work in his online gallery.

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Ballerina, 2011. Grey Bardiglio Marble. 190 x 45 x 52cm

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Ballerina, 2011. Grey Bardiglio Marble. 190 x 45 x 52cm

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Ballerina, 2011. Grey Bardiglio Marble. 190 x 45 x 52cm

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Ballerina Bust, 2012. Black Carrara Marble. 41 x 35 x 35cm

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Temporal Sitter, 2012. High Polished Bronze, Bardigilio Marble. 89.9 x 89.9 x 169.9cm

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Temporal Sitter, 2012. High Polished Bronze, Bardigilio Marble. 89.9 x 89.9 x 169.9cm

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Temporal Sitter, 2012. High Polished Bronze, Bardigilio Marble. 89.9 x 89.9 x 169.9cm

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Temporal Sitter, 2011. Carrara Marble. 94 x 80 x 80 cm

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Temporal Sitter, 2011. Carrara Marble. 94 x 80 x 80 cm

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Temporal Sitter, 2011. Carrara Marble. 94 x 80 x 80 cm

 

 



Art

Miniature Medieval Interiors Carved into Raw Marble Blocks by Mathew Simmonds

June 30, 2014

Johnny Strategy

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Favored for its translucency and durability, marble has been the material of choice for sculptors beginning with the early Greek masters. And their chisels have been used, most typically, to carve an idealized human body but also to create massive pillars and architectural forms like the Supreme Court Building or the Washington Monument. So these mini-architectural interiors come as something we’ve never quite seen before. The intricately carved creations are the work of British sculptor Matthew Simmonds, an art-historian-turned-stone-carver. Inspired by his academic background and, later, his work in helping to restore important historic monuments (in particular, Westminster Abbey and Ely Cathedral) Simmonds began creating these fascinating, empty marble interiors after moving to Italy.

“The sculptures give the viewer a different perspective on space,” noted Dutch art writer Merete Prydes Helle. “They look different from every viewpoint. You long to be in them, and they seem almost more meaningful for that.” Indeed, there’s something about the realistic and tranquil interiors that makes you not want to look away. See more over at on form. (via Yatzer)

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Art

Veiled Souls Carved from Stone and Embedded with Crystals by Livio Scarpella

April 21, 2014

Johnny Strategy

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Livio Scarpella is a contemporary Italian sculptor whose work harkens back to the incredible craftsmanship of marble sculptors from the 1700s. His series “Ghost Underground,” which depicts ghostly souls, both peaceful and in anguish, are influenced by the famous veiled sculptures that rest in the Cappella Sansevero, a chapel in the historic center of Naples, Italy. Opposite destinies (the “blessed” and “damned”) are signified through either a light quartz or dark amethyst rock placed near the heart of the sculpture. The crystals also serve an interesting contrast between the softly veiled faces, reminding us that, indeed, both are stone-hard. (via beautifuldecay)

 

 



Art

Airy Dresses Carved From Marble by Alasdair Thomson

March 29, 2014

Johnny Strategy

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These lightweight, airy dresses look like they’re about to be adorned to a fancy gala or dinner party. But as irony would have it, they will never be worn. In fact, the dresses are actually made from Carrera Marble, the same material as the world’s most famous naked statue – Michelangelo’s David. Starting out as a solid mass of marble that can weigh several tons, they are chiseled and sculpted down by Alasdair Thomson, a sculptor living and working in Edinburgh, Scotland.

His latest work, “The Identity Collection,” (named as if it’s a fashion line) explores “the way fabric hangs and folds, and is attempting to capture that lightness and gracefulness in stone.” Effectively ceding control over his subjects, Alasdair asked his friends and family to donate garments, which he then impeccably recreated out of marble. You can see more of Alasdair’s work on his website or his Instagram account.

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