Lars Calmar’s figures, often bare and grotesque, carry a humanity that feels at once humorous and sincerely tortured. Even when using animals alongside his baby-like creatures and hulking brutes, the ceramic works feel as wholly human, though primal, in emotion. The artist’s sculptures have been shown in galleries and museums across the world.
Dennis McNett, creating works under the moniker “Wolfbat,” creates wild woodcarvings, sculptures, and installations A new show at Heron Arts in San Francisco, titled “Hallowolfbat,” is an ornate, largescale adventure into McNett’s practice, with some of the creatures crafted for this show up to 10 feet tall. At the opening, the street was closed off and rock act High on Fire performed.
Portland illustrator Song Kang blends architecture and natural structures in both her intensely detailed drawings and her absorbing sculptures. The latter even uses the inherent forms of the animal kingdom as foundations for her designs. The “Vernacular” series has works created from wood, paper mache, plaster, fiber, recyclables, and other materials.
The surreal ceramic sculptures of Malaysia native Chao Harn Kae are both strange and humorous, combining creatures and appendages with delicate textures. The Hong Kong-based artist’s dreamlike works range in size and mood, as the figures bounce between evoking playfulness and timidness. His charge has been described as “unraveling humanity while remaining true to human nature.”
Whether rendered life-sized in resin and paint or smaller and 3D-printed, Nicholas Crombach’s figures explore our ties to the creatures of the natural world. The Canadian-born artist uses 3D printing as an extension of his past work and purpose, in a time when the contemporary tool is often used to create novelty items and irreverent, one-note sculptures. Services like Shapify have made the reaction of the human body a superficial process, while Crombach tackles something much older in nature.
Natalia Arbelaez’s figures, often built with clay, carry both humor and sadness in their strange forms. Her white ceramic sculptures, in particular, offer texture and personality that feel at once human and something subterranean. The Miami-born Colombian-American artist has excited her pieces across the U.S.