Baltimore, Maryland based artist Brad Blair designs imaginative sculptural monstrosities that combine features of real world animals with those from our dreams and nightmares. His works are an elaborate mixture of media, made of primarily clay and ceramic, natural parts like fox tails and fish fins, rubber cast tongues, and mechanical elements like watches and monofilament, giving them a certain science-fiction or cyborg quality.
Blair’s creatures typically share avian and reptilian features, some beaked like a vulture and simultaneously sporting curved fangs that makes them look intimidating, while others have delightfully abstract faces with big lips and googley-eyed expressions inspired by insect larvae. Their Frankenstein-like appearance can be attributed to the artist’s concerns about modern day genetic engineering and biotechnology, who says that his goal is to open the minds of his viewers and transport them into a different reality- the unknown.
“Monsters were and still are used to control, deter, challenge, inspire, threaten and seduce human beings in different situations,” Blair says in his artist statement. “By using the power of the unknown and the mysterious, the visceral urge to touch and a high level of detail, I lure the viewer in and make them want to investigate and question. These works are primarily made from clay with other elements added to help convey concept. They can be needy, invasive, harmful, helpful, curious, unpredictable, highly intelligent and oh so productive when ‘engineered’ correctly.”