New York City based Ted Lawson reveals a persistent interest in the human body. His art investigates processes related to the physical body such as growth, its needs, its decay and death. Lawson strips individuality from his subjects while simultaneously forcing character through implications of the viewer, and therefore, complicating the very meaning of identity.
Using figurative representation and geometric abstraction, Ted Lawson creates a narrative progression of forms that reveals something conceptually greater than the sum of their parts. Ted’s large scale works combine digital technology with highly crafted traditional sculpting methods to seamlessly produce conceptual objects that express the underlying analog truth within his subject matter.
Taiwanese artist Hsu Tung Han carves figurative sculptures from wood that appear to be dissolving into fields of pixels. He is a master of puzzling together pieces of wood into unbelievable figurative sculptures.
Hsu Tung Han thinks of his work as a puzzle, carefully laying out each piece in preparatory drawings and clay models. Then, strips of walnut, teak, or African wax wood are joined together and worked over meticulously.
While working at punk music venues as a teenager in Copenhagen, Rose Eken developed a fascination with concert detritus. The objects she was made to clean up after an event (cigarette butts, drug paraphernalia, beer cans, discarded clothing, and lost cell phones) became emblems of punk rock culture, which she now reproduces in the form of hand-painted ceramic miniatures.
Sculpting objects found in concert halls, kitchens, studios and similarly ubiquitous locations, Eken methodically replicates detritus often placing them very systematic in a grid, suggestive of scientific categorization. Her arrangements and sheer amount of production assume an anthropological quality, documenting and preserving the relics of a culture and celebrating a history in process.
Rachel Kneebone’s intricate works address and question the human condition: renewal, transformation, life cycles and the experience of inhabiting the body. Kneebone’s sculptures operate in a near-subliminal space, oscillating and blurring the boundaries between the conscious and the subconscious, the real and the imagined, everything and nothing.
Working in porcelain, the material properties of her work further heighten and convey an awareness of opposing states, appearing to be not only heavy, solid and strong but also light, fragmentary and soft. This fluid movement between states is reflective of the wide range of art historical and literary sources that inform the artist’s practice.
Dan McCarthy works quickly by rinsing and blotting thin layers of washed out pastel tones, allowing the paint to drip down the canvas. It’s a process based largely on intuition and working within the moment. He is stripping it all down to the essential basics, trying to let the sunshine in.
He recently started to work on ceramic sculptures that he calls Facepots. Wanting to express emotion, attitude and humour in his work, he chose faces as an obvious starting point. As Dan Mccarthy once remarked: “I’d like to include in my work something of the living spirit, something positive that can be taken away and built upon by a viewer. Certainly more a feeling than an attitude or ideology”.
The intuitive process in McCarthy’s ceramics is evident within the finished work. Wrestling with massive slabs of wet earthen clay, his rapid technique and composition becomes the work’s subject. Both painted and glazed with gold leaf and low fire lustre, the large facepots radiate a dynamic range of material possibilities, physical existence and emotional depth.
Los Angeles based artist Sterling Ruby works in a large variety of media including ceramics, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture and video. Often, his work is presented in large and densely packed installations.
The artist has cited a diverse range of sources and influences including aberrant psychologies (particularly schizophrenia and paranoia), urban gangs and graffiti, hip-hop culture, craft, punk, masculinity, violence, public art, prisons, globalization, American domination and decline, waste and consumption. In opposition to the minimalist artistic tradition and influenced by the ubiquity of urban graffiti, the artist’s works often appear scratched, defaced, camouflaged, dirty, or splattered.
Cao Hui’s (previously featured here) new series of dissected sculptures sees classical works of art divided up into segments, both linear and fractional. Within the resin forms, the artist shows what might lie beneath the sculptures’ stone façades, depicting hyper-realistically rendered, flesh-like innards, bits of brain and open organs.
“We must not only see the surface, but also examine the inside, and so the relationship between inner and outer crystallizes into a kind of perfect logic, explainable by our inherent ‘knowledge’. Thus we can begin to deceive others, using set after set of theoretical explanations. The result is laughter — in the end we’ve merely amused ourselves before god did.” Cao Hui
Jessica Stoller uses clay and the grotesque as a vehicle to explore the constructed world of idealized femininity, gathering imagery across cultural lines and histories. The clay is sculpted, draped, carved, woven, and piped to create a wide range of bewildering effects. Porcelain is her primary medium, a historically weighted material that is intrinsically linked to notions of desire, mystery, and consumption.
Sri Lankan-born, Sydney-based artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran creates rough-edged, vibrant, new-age idols that are at once enticing and disquieting. He experiments with form and scale in the context of figurative sculpture to explore politics of sex, the monument, gender and religion. Self-portraits make frequent appearances and the dual presence of male and female organs suggest gender fluid realms of new possibilities.
Lee Yun Hee creates narrative ceramic pieces inspired by literature and story telling. She uses both Western and Eastern influences, creating a style of her own that is striking, unique and undoubtably contemporary. Her work is fragile and flawless, almost creating an aura of effortlessness. She uses her work to reflect upon stories of everyday people; their struggles, fears, hopes, and anxieties.
Hee’s work is mystical and fantastic. Though balancing modern, classic, Eastern, and Western styles, she has creating an epic body of art that is honest, profound, and truly unique. Her work acts as windows into her own version of a fairy tale; she is able to re-create morality stories within her own framework.