Sasha Vinci, born on the 13th of April 1980 in Modica, experiments with different forms of art, from performance to sculpture, from audio to writing and painting, whilst investigating the most problematic aspects of being in alive in society today. His artistic practice starts from the intimate memories of self, and evolves into a multiplicity of visions to unveil the pain and social contradictions of our contemporary world.
I love how powerful his work feels, due to the remorse and detailing, whilst also lacking detail, of the body. I love how he also conveys his message almost entirely through the body language of the sculpture, how its slumped shoulders shows it carries the weight of the world. Even the fact that its displayed on a chair is a symbol, how it has not even the energy to stand. Although not connected to my theme I couldn’t help but include this artist when I found him as I find his work to be so fascinating and powerful. When it comes to actually deciding how to present my final piece for this academic year I will definitely have to keep in mind how powerful it can be.
The Eternal Wait. 2008. Mixed Media.
Sasha Vinci creates haunting sculptures and installations that contemplate the nature of man’s existence. While his works can be morbid and a bit terrifying, as in his series of fleshy seated subjects waiting for eternity, Vinci also finds beauty and sexuality in the human figure. Known for his captivating and carnal sculptures, Vinci is a true multimedia artist, also exploring drawing, painting, writing, sound design and performance art. Most recently, he also finds inspiration in the absence of the figure and extension of what is human in his 2014 installation “Memento Flori”.
Made using chicken wire and paper mache, Fardou creates what she calls ”creatures” which she then arranges around dinner tables for exhibitions complete with fake food. I find her work very interesting and I actually find her use of chicken wire as a way of creating the bones a rather interesting idea and I wonder if I can make that work myself in helping build up certain parts of the skeleton I’m working on. I love how morbid some of these look, and how for me they seem to lightly play with the theory of the uncanny valley much like I’m trying to.
Keuning, a 31-year-old artist from the Netherlands, calls these sculptures her “creatures,” and it’s not difficult to understand why. Some have deformed limbs; others have burnt skin. Their facial expressions range from Buddha-like tranquility to utter terror. She doesn’t just call them “creatures”—nearly human, but not quite—because of their unusual aesthetic. It’s because, to her, they are almost alive.
After using paper mache on the skeleton I realised what it reminded me off. I’ve seen a work before of Kiki Smith’s called Hard Soft Bodies which had the appearance of shedded skin made to look like a human.
Kiki Smith, born 18th January 1954, is a German-born American artist whose work has addressed the themes of sex, birth and regeneration. Her figurative work of the late 1980s and early 1990s confronted subjects such as AIDS, gender and race, while recent works have depicted the human condition in relationship to nature. Smith lives and works in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City.
Hard Soft Bodies, 1992. Paper and Paper Mache.
I love this piece as I feel it’s strangely morbid whilst incredibly interesting. I think that this is the sort of effect that could work very well on my skeleton, as it’ll give the impression of the skin quite nicely on the bones. Also, added in with the ideas of how I could add fake blood to it to contrast with the pale colouring of the tissue I’m thinking it’ll be nicely juxtaposed.
Whilst looking for this work I also found another which was very interesting. It features a structure hanging from a wall resembling rib bones and sternum. I found it interesting how weak the structure look whilst also how morbid it appeared too. I was surprised I’d never seen this work before, as it seemed to be quite a relevant work to mine, now more than ever.
Ribs, 1987. Terracotta, ink and thread.
Bogdan Rata, born 22nd January 1984, currently lives and works in Timisoara, Romania and teaches at the West University of Timisoara, Faculty of Arts and Design, Sculpture Department.
Trying To Keep Life. 2012.
An artist I feel should have been mentioned, or found earlier, is Bogdan Rata. His work features subjects like deflated of beheaded bodies, or dismembered limbs entwined together. He uses new materials as polystyrene, industrial paint, plaster and synthetic resin.
Based in a “forgotten future”, his work reproduces “replicas of reality” reminiscent of the virtual world in the film Blade Runner. Rata multiplies human parts (fingers, ears, and so on) and combines them into new life forms. The newborn creatures seem to result from strange experiments with the human body in an esthetics lab.
Plastic Surgery. 2010.
Rata’s works forge a contextual change of the anatomic detail through its obsessive multiplication. The materials used, and the resulting industrial look, question the assault on individual personality in a climate of commercial branding uniformity. The concept of “hand-foot” and the “unsuccessful blessing” symbol strengthens the idea behind the work, delicately propelling it into the realm of grotesque. The torso also evokes a twist of reality, the socially provocative themes of sexual identity and the hermaphrodite.
Rehana Zaman’s work centres around moving image and performance. Her work considers the complex interplay of multiple social dynamics that constitute subjects along particular socio-political formations. A key work of hers which I found interesting was the piece called ‘Tell Me The Story Of All These Things’ which is also one of her most recent works. I find it powerful how she included her own sister in the work as a way to explore the ideas of clothing, education and food. This allows a personal relationship for the artist which isnt necessarily obvious until you’re told she is her sister. She created her own involvement as she forms this conversation which kickstarts the rest of her short film.
Watching this film you gain an intimate relationship with the woman and learn details about her you wouldnt expect, which anchors the piece itself. Zaman highlights how she layers the figures in the video as a way to explore the body. She explains that the conversation wasn’t planned, but instead more natural and wanted to explore a personal shared experience. The film capturing the process of her making a curry ties in cultural traditions and family. The importance of space is highlighted as she uses the kitchen while she cooks, a domestic environment which can relate to all. It is this location which can be considered to the most popular to spark conversations, which in turn makes the video feel natural.
Raymond Pettibon, born Raymond Ginn on the 16th of June, 1957, is an American artist who lives and works in New York City. Pettibon came to prominence in the early 1980s in the southern California punk rock scene, creating posters and album art mainly for groups on SST Records, owned and operated by his brother, Greg Ginn. He has since gone on to international acclaim, earning several awards and exhibiting in major galleries and museums.
I’ve had to research his work quite often due to my drawing style often at times resembling his, but this time I was able to find work he released recently so I’m able to research newer works of his. I really like this work, and I really love the colouring of this piece with the swirls in the black making the central skull stand out further.
Who Knows What’ll Happen, But It Don’t Look Good. Raymond Pettibon and Marcel Dzama. Pencil and Watercolour. 2017.
Printed in a 36 page book featuring other works made by the duo, this piece amongst others was made to raise funds for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).protest posters. Proceeds from sales of the zine will be donated to the ACLU. Tackling political issues like Trump’s election amongst other things, this book means to not only ridicule those included, but also fund the people against these issues.
Joey Holder is a female artist whose interests cover the structures of hierarchies of the technological and the natural world. She mixes the elements of biology, nanotechnology as well as natural history against computer program interfaces, screen savers and measuring devices. In this artist talk she presented a continual flow of her work as she spoke, allowing us to see a vast range of her oeuvre, a method I found interesting as it kept me interested throughout her talk. She highlighted that she is a multi-media artist and tries to portray a type of mutation in her work. Through diagrams and databases, she portrays organic life in her work, in their natural order as a way to split organic matter. She states she also looks into the biology, light patterns and categorisation.
She mentioned the first time that she worked alongside scientists, which was during a project she done called ‘The Internet of Growing Things’. She mentioned that this experiment portrayed the constant need to control nature. Her final piece was an installation piece, where she used Jacuzzi baths that were structured bottom side into the wall and projected onto them. The projections included were images of jellyfish and other organisms, with underwater sounds which created an unusual environment/atmosphere for the viewer.
I found this talk interesting as I felt the steady flow of images was an interesting way of keeping the viewers attention. I also found her work incredibly interesting, and her final piece sounded rather hypnotising.