by Ariadna Zierold
Los Angeles based Thomas Housago’s work playfully subverts the expectation of sculpture. Drawing reference to a multitude of styles such as Classicism, Cubism, and Futurism, Houseago’s intentionally clumsy forms trade the imperious and enduring qualities of traditional bronze or marble for the humble aesthetic of plaster and various found materials. Lacking the weighty physical stature associated with three dimensional media, Houseago’s ‘monumental’ structures appear almost comically flimsy, reducing the grandiose weight of art history into sympathetic effigies.
Houseago is fascinated by tribal art from Africa and the South Pacific, an influence evident in the primitivist mask-like heads and crude features of his disjointed figures. To create them, Houseago begins with a structure of iron rods, then adds materials such as plaster, hemp, and wood. Some of his works incorporate charcoal or graphite sketches of faces and anatomy on plaster and wood panels, producing an unfinished look that draws attention to the artist’s process.