sculpture

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Art

Kehinde Wiley’s Contemporary Counterpoint to Old Confederate Monuments Unveiled in Times Square

October 12, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Kehinde Wiley, Rumors of War, 2019. © 2019 Kehinde Wiley. Presented by Times Square Arts in partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and Sean Kelly, New York. Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

New York-based visual artist Kehinde Wiley (previously) recently unveiled a bronze sculpture of an African American man riding a horse in the center of Times Square at Broadway Plaza between 46th and 47th streets. Titled “Rumors of War,” the statue references controversial Confederate War monuments that still stand in Richmond, Virginia over a century after they were erected.

Commissioned by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Wiley’s first public artwork will be relocated to a spot near the museum’s entrance. Just over a mile away is the statue of General J.E.B. Stuart that inspired “Rumors of War”. The artist first saw the monument during a trip to Virginia in 2016. He said in an interview with the Washington Post that he chose it as a reference because of the “gestural feel of the horse.” Standing over 27 feet tall, Wiley’s sculpture mimics Stuart’s half-turned pose and the stride of the horse, but his figure is a Black man with locked hair and contemporary apparel, including a hoodie, jeans, and sneakers.

“Today we say yes to something that looks like us,” Wiley said at the unveiling event last month. “We say yes to inclusivity. We say yes to broader notions of what it means to be an American.” For a closer look at more of Kehinde Wiley’s important work, follow the artist on Instagram.

Photographer: Walter Wlodarczyk for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ian Douglas for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

 

 



Art

A Swedish Art Collective Handcrafts 17,000 Unique Sculptures Signifying Refugee Youth at Risk of Deportation

October 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photography: Felix Gerlach and Martin Spencer

Seventeen thousand unique sculptures are displayed in a new installation by Swedish artist collective Skaparkollektivet Forma. The group sought to draw attention to the individuality of 17,000 Afghan refugee youth whom the Swedish government plans to deport. The unaccompanied minors came to Sweden in 2015, totaling 23,500 in that year, and were fully integrated into their adoptive communities. However, the government seems to have shifted gears and has reversed its opinions on a majority of the young people.

Working with 1,500 volunteers, Skaparkollektivet Forma created petite sculptural works of art to represent each individual impacted by the planned governmental uprooting. The works are glued to 34 frames in groups of 500, which allows the installation to be easily transported and installed in different configurations.

Since the collective started working on this project, attention has been drawn to the issue, and some of the youth have been allowed to stay, but apparently the majority of the planned deportations are still set to happen. “In the debate on migration, living human beings tend to be transformed into anonymous volumes,” said Skaparkollektivet Forma told dezeen. “But we wanted to understand what this five-figure number actually represented. The installation makes the number 17,000 visible and above all shows that behind every number there is a person,” they explained. “Behind each figure there is a personality, a story, a work of art.”

The work was initially displayed at Liljevalchs art gallery, which is an independent, public gallery in Stockholm. Follow the collective on Instagram and Facebook for updates. (via dezeen)

Members of Skaparkollektivet Forma

 

 



Art Craft

Hand-Built Paper Birds by Niharika Rajput Draw Attention to Endangered Avians

October 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A detailed structural plan, hundreds of hand-fringed feathers, a custom-built wire armature: these are just some of the components artist Niharika Rajput uses to create her life-like paper birds. Rajput directly ties her art practice to conservation efforts by running campaigns to spread awareness of endangered species around the world.

To create her intricate sculptures, Rajput studies the anatomy of each bird, from its wing and tail structures to different types of feathers and facial features. The artist tells Colossal that she initially experimented with fiber and wire mesh, but found that paper best replicated the structure and texture of feathers. After creating a sketch of all the component body parts, Rajput begins the labor-intensive assembly process, which is complete once she has added finishing touches with acrylic paint.

The artist explains that she has had a lifelong affinity for wildlife and birds in particular, cemented by her family moving around a lot; nature was a steady presence even as Rajput’s built surroundings changed. As an adult, a visit to the Himalayas reconnected the artist to her passion for birds.

“As an artist I find it almost impossible to compete with nature’s sophisticated mechanisms and designs,” Rajput shares with Colossal. “I have taken this project on, to reach that level of perfection which can be applauded with a great sense of wonder by my audience and also acts as a reminder of what’s out there and needs to be protected.”

See more of Rajput’s sculptures on Instagram and Twitter. Original works are also available for purchase on Etsy. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

The U.K.’s Iconic Red Post Box Gets a Twisted Makeover in Alex Chinneck’s Surreal Urban Interventions

September 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Master of distortion Alex Chinneck flips parking lots upside down, unzips buildings, and most recently has tied post boxes in knots. Chinneck traffics in everyday structures that are universally recognizable, which serves to unite passersby in reacting to the bizarre interventions. The post box series, which the artist calls ‘Alphabetti Spaghetti‘ has made appearances over the past week across the U.K., in  London, Margate, and Tinsley, adding three bespoke boxes to the more than 115,500 traditional ones that exist across the kingdom. No word yet on whether postmarked letters placed in Chinneck’s sculptures will be delivered. You can see more of the artist’s mind-bending work on Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 



Art

Sorrowful Sculptures Designed in a Three-Part Collaboration Meditate on Life, Loss, and Regeneration

September 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In a limited edition of 12 new sculptures created in a unique three part collaboration, weeping women mourn a decomposing figure. The cast white figures, partially collapsed in a kneeling pose, embrace amorphous forms that ooze and drip. Countering the somber tone of each sculpture, colorful coral and mushroom-like shapes grow from the decomposition, uniting life and death and forging new growth from the loss.

To create this body of work, sculptor Stéphanie Kilgast (previously) partnered with illustrator Miles Johnston (previously) who conceptualized the base sculpture, and multi-disciplinary production facilitator MoonCrane Press who created the cast.

In a statement on the collaborative project, Kilgast explained that “I added life with my mushrooms, because, whatever happens, life always keeps going. Even if it’s just on a bacterial level. Another way of seeing this sculpture is to see the woman crying not over a human being but over the 6th mass extinction of nature that is currently happening.”

The series is sold out, but you can explore more of Kilgast, Johnston, and MoonCrane on their Instagram profiles.

 

 



Art Craft

Hundreds of Ceramic Circles are Linked Together in Movable Sculptures by Cecil Kemperink

September 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Ceramic artist Cecil Kemperink creates delicate chain sheets using hundreds of interconnected ceramic loops. The chains are then draped in piles, forming malleable sculptures that are simultaneously hulking and fragile. Kemperink generally uses a minimal color palette, highlighting the natural tone of the clay while using subtle ombrés to accentuate the multiple parts within each finished work. With a multi-faceted background in dance and fashion, “her sculptures show the connection between her various passions. She investigates ‘space’ and plays with rhythm, form, movement, energy and sound,” according to a statement on Kemperink’s website. The Dutch artist’s most recent solo exhibition, which closes on September 29, 2019, is at Musea della Ceramica in Mondovi, Italy. See more of Kemperink’s work on her website and Instagram, where she often shares videos of in-progress work and records the transfixing sounds of her sculptures in motion.

 

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Art

Bronze Sculptures of Regal African Women by Wangechi Mutu Make History at the Metropolitan Museum

September 14, 2019

Andrew LaSane

The Seated I, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create four bronze sculptures of African women collectively titled “The NewOnes, will free Us.” The seated women are nearly 7 feet tall and each weigh more than 840 lbs. The sculptures are the first works of art to fill the niches of the museum’s Fifth Avenue facade since the building’s completion in 1902.

Mutu’s sculptures, individually titled The Seated I, II, III, and IV, are dressed in coiled garments and feature polished discs on different parts of their heads. This ornamentation references the jewelry and lip plates worn by women in some African tribes. They also reference the West African and Greek tradition of caryatids, female figures carved out of wood or marble that were depicted as structural or metaphorical supports.

“Caryatids throughout history have carried these buildings to express the might and the wealth of a particular place,” the Nairobi-born artist said in a video interview on The Met’s website. Looking to use her sculptures as a way to stage what The Met calls a “feminist intervention,” Mutu added that she wanted to “keep the DNA of the woman in an active pose, but I didn’t want her to carry the weight of something or someone else.”

The NewOnes, will free Us” will remain on view in the museum’s niches through January 12, 2020. Follow along with Mutu’s travels and cultural inspirations on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

Photo: Zachary Small / Hyperallergic

Photo: Zachary Small / Hyperallergic

The Seated II, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

The Seated III, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

The Seated IV, 2019. Wangechi Mutu