Currently living and working in the idyllic town of Urtijëi, Italy, sculptor Willy Verginer shares a closeness with his environment in both technique and concept. His surreal wooden sculptures are carved from a single linden tree trunk with incredible precision and detail. Although their features are classical, Verginer paints bold stripes of color across his figures and poses them in awkward positions, making them completely contemporary. Previously covered here, he’s often paired his figures of women, men, and young children with other animals and objects that don’t fit together. His most recent pieces, which are on currently view at Galerie Van Campen & Rochtus in Belgium, pairs them with oil barrels.
Twoone, featured here, is a multidisciplinary Japanese artist currently living and working in Berlin perhaps most recognized for his animal portraits. His latest works, which he will debut in an open studio event, explore a range of new themes like psychology, anthropology, and the structure of nature, all inspired by his memories. We got to visit his studio ahead of the crowd last week, where we went behind the scenes of his process. At the moment, Twoone is experimenting with a new material – acrylic pieces that are displayed in a light box format. See more after the jump.
Czech sculptor David Cerný has a reputation for being a “bad boy” artist. Although he rejects labels, he is most certainly a political artist, one whose works visually lash out against his government’s hypocrisies. One of the first pieces to put him on the international map was a pink Soviet tank that served as a war memorial in Prague, followed by such sculptures as the Czech patron St. Wenceslas riding an inverted horse, and giant stainless steel babies crawling up the city’s TV tower, to name a few. They are witty and bizarre but come from an intellectual place, even though the artist refuses to take himself too seriously. While he recognizes that his hometown in Prague is easily shocked, he does not create art for the sole purpose of shocking his audience.
Erika Sanada’s ceramic sculptures of puppies and other animals, featured in HF Vol. 31, are sweet yet a little chilling. Her surrealistic pieces give animals a dreamlike quality that draws the viewer in. Their disquieting nature is a reflection of Sanada’s own fears and anxieties in her daily life, which she expresses through her artwork. In her artist statement, she calls this her “dark side”. Sanada is looking to finally conquer these feelings in her new series, which she is now preparing for her next exhibition at Modern Eden Gallery. Take a look at our photos from Erika Sanada’s studio after the jump.
HF Vol. 21 artist Katsuyo Aoki is perhaps best known for her intricate, pure white porcelain skulls, covered here. Her latest sculptures are decorated with colorful designs, some of which are now on display in “The Colors of Globalization” at Bernardaud Foundation in Paris. It was Victorian England that kicked off the trade of blue and white porcelain originally. Aoki’s palette draws upon this time period, which dates back to 18th century designs that imitated Chinese porcelain.
Mexican artist Damián Ortega (covered here) reconceptualizes everyday objects in his sculptural installations. For twenty years, his creative interests have lied in the deconstruction of form and how things are assembled. His solo exhibition at HangarBiocca in Milan, Italy, “Casino,” is also a retrospective of his most famous works through today. This includes his new installation, “Zoom,” made for the event. The experience of viewing his artwork has been described as “explosive,” displaying a burst of energy, like an exploding star. Objects and vehicles such as his Volkswagon Bug, “Cosmic Thing,” (2002) are transformed as a critique about technological innovation. See more after the jump.