Cameron Stalheim creates mixed-media sculptures that indulge the stuff of nightmares. His most recent work, and then I saw Colby on the Street and my fantasy died, is a striking depiction of a collapsed merman taking his last breaths. Several times longer than human height, the sculpture confronts us with an image of death: in this case, the death of our collective childhood fantasies (who didn’t want to live among the mermaids when they were young?).
Another recent piece, Currents, utilizes an aqua resin to create glimmering, watery reflections of the wooden figure: the body of a woman clawing through the water’s surface, desperately gasping for air. With Stalheim’s mastery over a variety of materials, from bronze to plastic to wood, one might assume that he has a long career behind him when, in fact, he just completed his MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art this year. It will be interesting to see where this young artist will go next.