The Art of Christiaan Zwanikken

by JL SchnabelPosted on

Conjoining natural elements such as bone, plant life and taxidermy with mechanical devices into elaborate ‘kinetic’ sculptures, Dutch artist Christiaan Zwanikken has landed in Philadelphia at Jinxed Gallery for his first stateside solo show, ‘Convento’. The sculptures, when encountered in person, relay a subtle poetry in the vein of ‘The Brother’s Quay’ and other dark, yet enchanting stop motion films, as they each move in some way. The robotic skeletons act out similar scenarios as they would in life; the bone wings flutter, two “goats” square off and ram their skulls together, a disembodied hawk skull remains loyal to its falconer. However, it’s the endless, colorful nests of wiring and electricity that produce the unnatural, mechanical movements and sounds in lieu of life, of skin and fur. This absence creates a kind of melancholy that is contrasted with the whimsical sounds and nuanced synchronized movements of the sculptures, as they appear grouped together with the gallery. View more of the work below.

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