In the hands of Montana-based sculptor Beth Cavener (previously), clay transforms into mesmerizing, life-size animal figures charged with raw emotion and vitality. Human, her recently released and award-winning monograph, gathers and celebrates nearly two decades of these extraordinary creations, featuring 160 color plates of work from six series. The curious menagerie includes hares, foxes, goats, and other common mammals, with graceful and luminous bodies depicted in situations that are often tinged with a sense of violent tension. They are figures of pathos: Some creatures recoil, as though in…Read More
Beth Cavener (previously here and here) creates large animals that each appear to wrestle against their implied captivity. The works can be viewed as animals in the throes of domestication, however beneath the surface lies a peek into our own human psychology. Cavener projects these emotions onto her sculpted clay figures, showcasing the primitive animal instincts that lie beneath our own exteriors. "Both human and animal interactions show patterns…Read More
An Interview With Artist Beth Cavener Who Captures Human Emotions Through Sculpted Stoneware Animals
[Briefly NSFW?] Artist Beth Cavener (previously) explores the extremes of human emotion and psychology through the articulated forms of animals. The twisting shapes of oversized predatory cats, foxes, goats, and other animals are meant to depict the internal and external human struggles of fear, anger, love. "On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension," Cavener shares, "[but] beneath the surface, they embody the consequences of human fear, apathy, aggression, and misunderstanding." Filmmaker Bas Berkhout of Like Knows Like recently interviewed Cavener in her Montana studio to learn more about the inspiration…Read More
From a dowdy California quail to an incendiary horned lizard, Alessandro Gallo’s peculiar menagerie of animal-human hybrids is teeming with personality. The colorful characters reflect the breadth of interactions occurring every day throughout public spaces as folks encounter others unlike themselves, like a parakeet contorted into a yoga pose or a suit-wearing hooded merganser. Based in Helena, Montana, the Italian artist likens the animalistic features to a mask or caricature. "I combine…Read More
Washington-based artist Beth Cavener sculpts human-sized animals from clay and other materials in both dramatically overt and subtly ambiguous displays of emotion. Hung from ropes or pinned to walls, the anthropomorphic sculptures are infused with juxtapositions that depict the extremes of both human emotion and animalistic behavior: predator and prey, love and hate, fear and peace. “On the surface,” shares Cavener, “these figures are simply feral animals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface, they embody the consequences of human fear, apathy, aggression,…Read More
Editor's Picks: Craft
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.