Glitches Distort Household Objects and Art Historical Figures in Sculptures by Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford
Artist Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford reenvisions classical sculptures as chaotic, glitched assemblages that piece together fragmented bits of the original work. His interpretation of “Hercules” is teeming with textured pockets of the figure’s beard and facial features that become increasingly smaller and indiscernible toward the base, while “Venus” is reimagined in a similarly disjointed fashion with fractured body parts forming an upward curve.
Although many of his works evoke ancient art history, Hulsebos-Spofford’s pieces are rooted in modernist aesthetics and understandings of functionality, which manifest more apparently in his oversized Moka pot and Mr. Coffee sculptures. Each piece alters the traditional forms with an implied digital malfunction, which a statement about the works explains:
Inspired by the history of the 1927 architectural competition in Geneva, which asked architects to submit plans for the creation of the Palace of Nations, Hulsebos-Spofford points to the unsettled quandaries and contradictions between classical design and modernist functionalism. Repeating classical sculptural figures remind us of copy-and-paste multiple errors that reference the history of the gipsoteca galleries…Behind all of these references, we are presented with a global constellation of history and technological decay.
If you’re in Chicago, you can see the works shown here as part of League of Nations, which is on view between June 2 and August 29 at the Chicago Cultural Center. Find more of Hulsebos-Spofford’s sculptures on his site and Instagram, where he also shares glimpses into his process.
Share this story
Following a meticulously built collection of meals and household goods, Korean artist Lee Ji-hee returns to a more mechanical subject matter with a life-sized paper model of the Heidelberg letterpress. Similar to her vintage film cameras, Lee’s press is a near-exact replica—she tells Colossal that she studied the original German model closely before creating her sculpture from paper and corrugated cardboard—and is complete with an array of mechanisms and branded details, including its trademark windmill feed and plates inscribed with the company logo and manufacturing information. The machine, which took three months to complete, celebrates the long history of the printing industry on Chungmuri and Euljiro streets in Seoul.
Share this story
In perhaps the not-so-distant future, sculptor Dan Rawlings (previously) imagines a world where machinery from the unsustainable energy industry is now a relic of the past, slowly overtaken by nature in a state of decomposition. In his latest sculpture titled “Future Returns,” the artist uses his trademark plasma-cutting style to etch a sizeable canopy of foliage that emerges from the steel shell of a reclaimed oil tanker. The work is currently housed inside a 19th-Century church in Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire, England. From a statement about the project:
“Future Returns” invites us to examine our own part in commercialization and the resulting changes to our natural environment. Rawlings believes it is easy to demonize industry but we must acknowledge that it has allowed life as we know it to bloom. It is our ability to design, create and produce that has put towns like Scunthorpe on the global map. He also believes oil companies have much to answer for, from the state of our environment to mistrust of science.
Share this story
An Eclectic Group Show Features Sound Sculptures, Collages, and Toy Assemblages for the Annual BBA Artist Prize
A broad, varied collection of work from 20 emerging artists converges in a group exhibition for the sixth-annual BBA Artist Prize. Living in ten countries and working across mediums, this year’s finalists include Steve Parker’s touch-activated horn sculptures, Fiona White’s vivid collaged paintings, and June Lee’s figurative assemblages of toys and everyday objects. The winner of 2021’s award will be announced on June 25, with all works on view at Kühlhaus Berlin through June 30. Get a preview on the BBA site, and check out artist Ming Lu’s blue-and-white porcelain sculptures, which won the 2020 competition.
Share this story
Artist Ming Lu melds multiple facets associated with Chinese culture in her delicate blue-and-white porcelain works. She utilizes traditional craft techniques to sculpt ubiquitous cultural symbols often found throughout the streets of Chinatown, encompassing both the Berlin-based artist’s broad cultural connections to her native country and more personal interactions.
In the three busts that comprise “Dialogue,” for example, Ming Lu transcribes conversations with her partner in calligraphic script. Titled “Reason,” “Trick,” and “Reaching a Station We’ll Never Reach,” the self-portraits embody a contemporary change in situation and perspective through a classic medium. Similarly, a trio of butchered ducks evokes the popular dish in form and are coated in a traditional floral motif, a cracked glaze, and characters depicting an old-fashioned spelling of “I love you.” Each of the birds strikes a balance between history and more contemporary culture, which Ming Lu describes:
It’s a funny experience when I first went to Chinatown and I saw these roast ducks hanging on the restaurant windows. We don’t do this in China, at least not in the cities I’ve been to. It’s a funny experience for me. And when you go to a museum, in the “China” (the country) section, you see many porcelains. It also represents China in a way as in history, especially in Ming and Qing dynasties, (porcelain) was one of the largest export commodities, so I put them together.
Ming Lu works across mediums, and you can see more of her sculptures, paintings, and embroideries on her site. Some of the pieces shown here on view through July 3 as part of her solo show Tigress, Tigress at BBA Gallery in Berlin and in a group exhibition running June 24 to 30 at Kühlhaus Berlin.
Share this story
Sixty migrating elephants pass between Piccadilly and Buckingham Palace in London’s Green Park in one of nine herds roaming throughout the city. The lumbering creatures are part of an ongoing collaboration between two nonprofits, CoExistence and Elephant Family, that explores how humans can better live alongside animals and the larger ecosystem through imaginative public art projects.
As its name suggests, CoExistence’s aim is to identify mutually beneficial modes of living considering that within the last century, the balance between world population and wilderness has shifted considerably: in 1937, 66 percent of global environments were intact with 2.3 billion people on Earth. Today, those numbers have undergone a dramatic change, with a world population of 7.8 billion and only 35 percent of wilderness remaining.
The organization’s most recent effort brings the gargantuan animals to urban spaces throughout London that are typically closed off to wildlife. The herds can be spotted in St. James’s Park, Berkeley Square, and even the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s homes at Highgrove. In addition to generating awareness of environmental crises, the installations raise funds to support grassroots organizations throughout India that promote Indigenous culture and establish technology and infrastructure that allows humans and animals to live symbiotically.
CoExistence plans to install approximately 500 animals around the world in the next few years, and with the help of The Real Elephant Collective, each nation will receive a herd designed specifically for the location. The collective partners with Indigenous communities from the Tamil Nadu jungle in southern India, who live alongside the real-life animals, to create the sculptural iterations that stand up to 15 feet tall and weigh nearly 800 pounds. Each creature is constructed from long strips of lantana camara, an invasive weed that spreads in dense thickets and disturbs the environment—the video below documents the process—and by removing the plant, the artists help to reinstate the natural ecosystem.
Thirty-seven endangered and extinct birds will join the herd in Green Park on July 6. Using steel, clay, and bronze, seven artists created the flock, which includes a three-meter-tall curlew by Simon Gudgeon that’s as large as some of the elephants. The avian additions are the product of a collaboration with WildEast, a group focused on restoring biodiversity in the U.K. and finding new methods of sustainable farming, and will be sold to raise money for conservation efforts.
To support CoExistence’s efforts, you can donate or commission one of the elephants, and there are smaller goods and prints available in its shop. Follow the herds’ movements on the nonprofit’s Instagram, and see more on Elephant Family’s account.
Share this story
Editor's Picks: Food
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.