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Art

Elegantly Sculpted Busts by Massimiliano Pelletti Interpret Art History Through Imperfection

September 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

Detail of “Venus de Medici” (2020), pink onyx, 67 x 34 x 45 centimeters. Photo by Nicola Gnesi, courtesy of Massimiliano Pelletti

Italian artist Massimiliano Pelletti (previously) gravitates toward imperfection, and his practice revolves around transforming presumed defects like impurities, cracks, or chips into elegantly carved figures. Pink marble sliced to reveal the stone’s pillowy, crystalline insides bisects the artist’s interpretation of Venus de Medici, while in “Blue Venus,” marbled sodalite and Mexican white onyx are spliced together into a fully formed bust. Contrasting smooth segments with the rough texture of unpolished stone, Pelletti evokes art history and ancient sculpture traditions through the lens of flaw and fallibility.

This focus on the material determines much of the artist’s work—his studio is conveniently located in Pietrasanta near caves filled with the precious stones he utilizes—in addition to the way green onyx or black marble, for example, interacts with light. Understanding absorption, reflection, and illumination has grounded his practice and is a skill he’s developed for decades. He explains:

When I was a child, I used to go downstairs to my grandfather’s studio, and I could find him working marble, always next to the same window; from there, during certain hours, a magical light entered that could make the sculpture almost alive, with a soul. When I pointed it out to him, he answered me: “My dear, the light is so important. There are some works that should be sold with the window that lights them up”. 

Pelletti is currently working toward a solo show slated for May 2023 in London, in addition to a series of sculptures set for display in a public square in Italy. Until then, follow his practice on Instagram.

 

“Blue Horizon” (2022), sodalite and Mexican white onyx, 64 x 33 x 40 centimeters, 16-centimeter iron base. Photo by Nicola Gnesi, courtesy of Massimiliano Pelletti and Bowman Sculpture, London

“White Venus” (2022), Mexican white onyx, 173 x 31 x 43 centimeters. Photo by Nicola Gnesi, courtesy of Massimiliano Pelletti and Galerie Bayart, Paris

“Green Hermes” (2022), green onyx, 177 x 26 x 26 centimeters. Photo by Nicola Gnesi, courtesy of Massimiliano Pelletti

“Le due Grazie” (2019), Mexican white onyx, 65 x 65 x 48 centimeters. Photo by Nicola Gnesi, courtesy of Massimiliano Pelletti

“Venus de Medici” (2020), pink onyx, 67 x 34 x 45 centimeters. Photo by Nicola Gnesi, courtesy of Massimiliano Pelletti

Detail of “Blue Horizon” (2022), sodalite and Mexican white onyx, 64 x 33 x 40 centimeters, 16-centimeter iron base. Photo by Nicola Gnesi, courtesy of Massimiliano Pelletti and Bowman Sculpture, London

“White Venus” (2022), Mexican white onyx, 173 x 31 x 43 centimeters. Photo by Nicola Gnesi, courtesy of Massimiliano Pelletti and Galerie Bayart, Paris

 

 

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Art

Thread Grids by Laura Fischer Encase Stones in Exquisitely Knotted Webs

July 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Laura Fischer, shared with permission

Precision is at the core of Laura Fischer’s practice. Using cotton and linen threads in neutral tones, the Bellingham, Washington-based artist sheaths smooth stones in impeccably exacting grids. She forms the tiny squares and rectangles with a series of knots, mimicking the loom weaving process but working directly on the natural material. Paired together, the sculptures are finished with a twisting rope wrapped around the circumferences and suspended in staggered positions.

A few of Fischer’s pieces are available on her site. Keep an eye on Instagram for shop updates. (via swissmiss)

 

 

 



Art

Densely Arranged Stone Gradients Sweep Across the Sand in Jon Foreman’s Extraordinary Land Art

April 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Jon Foreman, shared with permission

An expert in the hypnotic, Wales-based artist Jon Foreman continues his exquisite constructions that position stones and shells into perfectly arranged formations. His most recent pieces include a mesmerizing gradient circle, concentric swirl, and seaside surge that show an evolution from his earlier land art by adding even more density and precision to his already meticulous practice. Because he works in public spaces subject to the elements, Foreman’s compositions last only a short period, although he sells prints in his shop for those wanting to preserve their entrancing nature. You can follow his latest creations and travels on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Food

Realistic Garnishes Top Sushi and Other Fishy Sculptures Carved Entirely from Stone

February 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Mari Kohei, courtesy of Mari Hamahira, shared with permission

Mari Hamahira’s sushi appears like tender slices of tuna and creamy sea urchin, but its texture is nothing like the soft, rice-based bites. From rough slabs of stone, the artist carves lifelike nigiri and rolls of gunkan-maki that are assembled into deceptively realistic sculptures and garnished with scallion rings, wasabi, and tiny mounds of roe. The coloring of each work is derived entirely from the material’s natural pigments, whether through smoothing and polishing or combining powdered granules into new hues.

Mixed within the delectable offerings are more unsettling pieces that include human body parts like fingers, brains, and ears. A critique of consumption and wastefulness, the series is in response to the artist’s work in the seafood industry, where he witnessed creatures harvested for their meat and then subsequently thrown away without being eaten.

Hamahira’s sculptures are on view through February 27 at Joshibi University of Art and Design, and you can see much of his stone-carving process on Twitter. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 

 



Art

Ephemeral Compositions Use Sand and Stone to Create Hypnotic Works on Land

November 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Jon Foreman, shared with permission

The wildly prolific Wales-based artist Jon Foreman has spent much of 2021 on a new batch of mesmerizing land pieces. Expanding on the swirling, organic shapes he’s known for, many of his recent works take on minimal, geometric formations in diagonal stripes or colorful, concentric circles. Foreman created a 2022 calendar featuring some of the compositions shown here—ordering instructions are on his Instagram—and you can find prints of his ephemeral pieces in his shop.

 

 

 

 

 



Photography

Otherworldly Sandstone Pillars Appear Like Totems of Billowing Fabric

June 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Zac Henderson, shared with permission

Between 140 and 180 million years ago, a cluster of Entrada Sandstone developed in a remote region of Utah. Wind, rain, and other elements have whittled down the formations over time, creating tall pillars that more closely resemble bunched fabric than ancient minerals.

For his series Draped Stone, photographer Zac Henderson documents these spectral columns, or hoodoos, that are developed when layers of hard and soft rock are worn down and produce smooth, billowing patterns as they age. Today’s structures flow in soft ripples from the walls and appear as ambiguous objects disguised by thick swaths of textiles. Henderson describes his encounter with the pillars:

It is almost as if fabric were draped over boulders to protect them from the elements. In another way, the rocks appear almost comically similar to a stereotypical ghost costume, needing only eyes to complete the ensemble. It is a strange thing for something so opposite to fabric to take on any sort of cloth-like appearance, yet here we are met with a most bizarre sort of muslin almost asking us to look underneath.

Henderson frequently travels and seeks out the unusual textures and colors of Earth’s landscapes, and you can follow his adventures on Behance and Instagram. Prints of a few pieces from Draped Stone are also available on his site.