The Surreal, Wooden Sculptures of Paul Kaptein

by Andy SmithPosted on

The warped and surreal nature of Paul Kaptein’s sculptures are even more startling when you consider the medium: Kaptein hand-carves each piece from wood. And the “glitchy” aspect of the works is heightened by gaps and holes present throughout, in a sense emptying the figures of their worldliness. And with names like, “With the Poise of One Entering a Black Hole for the Third Time” (shown above), there’s both a humor and cosmic quality to the Australian artist’s work. Kaptein was last featured on here.

Fremantle Arts Centre curator Dr. Ric Spencer offers this for Kaptein’s “About” page: “The humour in Paul’s work belies a deeper investigation into and engagement with streams of newness, such as sub-cultural currents, locational politics, popular physics, transient spiritualism and the accumulation and residue of overheard broadcasts. Fundamentally – it is concerned with the relationship between the immaterial and the material, the gap in between and how potential shifts energy through this space – into being, or as Heidegger calls it ‘the material space of radiance’, as it becomes something and forms identity.”

The stillness present in the faces of Kaptein’s subjects adds to their otherworldliness, conveying that they inhabit a world in which interference is common. And with eyes closed, some are just waiting it out.

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