sculpture

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Art

Paper Sculptures by Roberto Benavidez Reenvision Common Birds and Fantastical Creatures as Metallic Piñatas

April 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

‘”Javelina Girl (Illumianted Piñata No. 14).” All images © Roberto Benavidez, shared with permission

At once fantastically imaginative and embedded in tradition, the shimmering piñatas that comprise Roberto Benavidez’s body of work expand the boundaries of the conventionally festive object. The Los Angeles-based artist (previously) cuts skinny, triangular strips of material that he attaches to paper mache forms in the shape of birds, hybrid animals, and otherworldly creatures. His metallic works often address questions of identity—the artist speaks about this further in a Colossal interview—particularly considerations of gender and sexuality through the lens of his layered forms.

Benavidez’s gynandromorphs series, for example, reenvisions the phenomenon in common bird species by splicing male and female bodies together into a mirrored sculpture—three of these pieces will be on view through June 14 at The Loft at Liz’s in Los Angeles. He’s also continuing his renditions of Hieronymous Bosch characters and illuminated manuscripts, the latter of which includes the polka-dotted wildcat and portly, tusked “Javelina Girl” shown above. While drawing on centuries-old works, narratives, and myths in these series, each piñata is the artist’s reinterpretation of the classic iconography and themes into an inventive, contemporary form.

In the coming months, a few of Benavidez’s birds will be on view at Heron Arts, and the group exhibition devoted to piñatas that opened last fall at Craft in America will be traveling to the Mingei International Museum in San Diego. Follow news about upcoming opportunities to see his sculptures in person on Instagram.

 

“Illuminated Piñata No. 19”

“Scarlet Glossy Ibis (Halfbreed No. 1)”

“Spotted Wildcat Piñata (Illuminated Piñata No. 17)”

“Pug on Pig”

“Gynandromorph Phainopepla”

“Oyster or Snail? (Birdr No. 1)”

Detail of ‘”Javelina Girl (Illuminated Piñata No. 14)”

“California Quail”

 

 

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Art Craft

Spikes, Rusted Wire, and Scissors Bind Shattered Porcelain in Sculptures by Glen Taylor

April 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Glen Taylor, shared with permission

A visual metaphor for imperfection and the possibilities of repair, the porcelain sculptures created by Ohio-based artist Glen Taylor (previously) are steeped in contrast. Soldered spikes confront the gilded, floral designs on a stack of teacups, a rusted pair of scissors binds shards of a plate, and wire restrains a concrete hand as it lurches from dinnerware. In his most recent pieces, Taylor also draws on his background in ceramics, creating the witty “Introvert Mug” with the handle strategically placed inside the vessel.

Some of the artist’s antagonistic sculptures are included in Overdose, a group exhibition at Design Museum Holon, and you can peruse an archive of his works on Instagram.

 

“Detached”

“What Heals You”

“Introvert Mug”

“The Reluctance”

 

 



Art

Globular Reliefs and Drippy Mounds Comprise a Technicolor Collection of Dan Lam’s Sculptures

April 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Stephanie Chefas Projects, shared with permission

Armed with polyurethane foam, epoxy resin, and acrylic, artist Dan Lam (previously) sculpts technicolor forms that ooze, bubble, and trickle in long drips. She layers materials into masses of neon color progressions and textured blobs, forming amorphous puddles and mounds with cavernous insides.

Lam’s solo show Personal Legend expands the artist’s repertoire to include perfectly round reliefs with concentric gradients. Created by pouring and spreading resin over the foundational shape—head to Lam’s Instagram to dive into the process—the wall-based works are coated in droplets that bead on the surface. Mesmerizing in dimension and vibrant color palette, the resulting sculptures are displayed as single circles or large, sprawling clusters.

Personal Legend is on view through May 7 at Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland.

 

 

 



Craft

Colorful Characters Emerge From Chunks of Timber in Whimsical Toys by Wood You Mind

April 19, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Parn Aniwat

Texas-based Thai artist Parn Aniwat, who also goes by Wood You Mind, hews charming figures from timber, embellished in bright colors and playful outfits. Ranging from about four to eight inches tall, each unique character has a distinct personality, whether it’s a sweet face emerging from an owl costume, a bee sitting in a flower, or a vibrantly striped whale. Using traditional tools like a small hatchet and chisel knife, every piece begins with a rough sketch of the design before the contours and details are revealed by chipping small pieces away. The artist then applies vivid splashes of acrylic paint to bring the character’s sparkling eyes and rosy cheeks to life.

Aniwat shares quite a bit of work on Instagram, where you can see snippets of his process and stay tuned for announcements about commission opportunities. Shop available pieces on Etsy. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Art

Animated by Wind, Theo Jansen’s ‘Strandbeest’ Sculptures Have Evolved into Flying Creatures

April 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

Each spring, a fledgling creature waddles, wriggles, or slithers across a Dutch beach. The sculptural animals are known as Strandbeests and are part of a growing menagerie by artist Theo Jansen (previously), who’s been constructing large-scale, kinetic beings powered entirely by the wind since 1990. Jansen unleashes the skeletal works—which weigh around 180 kilograms and use 2,000 to 3,000 meters of PVC pipe—in the early part of the year and uses the summer months to tweak their function so that they better withstand the sand, water, and other elements. By fall, the creatures have fully developed and scurry across the beach with quick, sometimes undulating motion.

Jansen recently compiled a collection of his works in the video above, which chronicles the Strandbeest evolution during the past few years. The montage encapsulates earlier forms carrying massive sails, caterpillar-like critters, and now, winged creatures that fly feet above the ground and is evidence of the artist’s decades-long dedication to developing the lifelike works.

A survey of Jansen’s Strandbeests runs through July 3 at Kuntsmuseum Den Haag, and Hannibal Books released a catalog to coincide with the exhibition. Explore more of the artist’s practice and elaborately built animal kingdom on his site and YouTube.

 

“Animaris Umerus, Scheveningen” (2009). Photo by Loek van der Klis

“Animaris Percipiere Rectus, IJmuiden” (2005). Photo by Loek van der Klis

“Animaris Mulus, Silent Beach” (The Hague, 2018)

“Animaris Omnia, Silent Beach” (The Hague, 2019)

“Uros Kirn Ader, Noorderstrand Scheveningen” (2021)

 

 



Art

70,000 Tiny Amphorae Envelop the Voluminous Forms of Grégoire Scalabre’s Elaborate Sculptures

April 16, 2022

Kate Mothes

“The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” (2021-2022). Image © Charles De Borggraef. All images shared with permission

Gathering thousands of miniature porcelain vessels over large surfaces and curvatures, Grégoire Scalabre confronts preconceptions of form, scale, and material in his intricate sculptures. The Paris-based artist hand-turns countless tiny, vase-like containers reminiscent of amphorae, or ancient storage jars that were typically long and narrow so that they could be snugly stored together. Drawing on a centuries-old tradition of French porcelain making and an interest in Greek mythology, his dynamic works combine incredible technical skill with a desire to recast the medium in a new light and experiment with its physical limits.

Approximately 1 to 1.5 inches in height and half an inch wide, every one of Scalabre’s minuscule components varies slightly from the next. Some have longer flutes than others, squatter bases, flattened tops, or a curl to the lip of the opening. When accumulated, the pieces appear to undulate across the surface in fluid patterns. The inherent delicacy of fine porcelain is challenged by the monumental scale at which these works take shape.

 

“The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” (2021-2022). Image © Charles De Borggraef

Standing more than six feet tall and months in the making, the artist’s most recent work, “The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” recalls a story from Greek mythology about a sea nymph by the same name. He translated a sketch of the composition into a 3D model, then created 70,000 individual ceramic pieces by hand. One by one, each vessel was dipped in glaze, fired at a high temperature, and once cooled, adhered to a structure made of resin foam.

Two of Scalabre’s sculptures, including “The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” are on view through May 1 as part of Porcelain Virtuosity at Homo Faber 2022 in Venice. You can find more of his work on Instagram. (via IGNANT)

 

“Cygnus”, (2021). Image © Anthony Girardi

“Soane,” (2020). Image © Anthony Girardi

“Soane,” (2020). Image © Anthony Girardi

“Achilles,” (2021). Image courtesy of Todd Merill Gallery

“Achilles,” (2021). Image courtesy of Todd Merill Gallery

Image © Charles De Borggraef

Image © Charles De Borggraef

Image © Virginie Mercier