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.
Recent creatures crafted in the workshop of Calvin Ma make seem endearing and childlike. Yet, Ma’s ceramic sculptures are part of an ongoing, cathartic purpose, the artist says. In a statement, he describes why it was “ natural to tap into this childlike sense of exploration and storytelling through my artwork.”
Brooklyn-based, Michigan-raised artist Gary Mellon crafts wood sculptures that are conceived first in his sketchbook. Mellon adds pops of color with acrylic paint, though in much of his work, the natural poplar tones dominate the figures, faces, and totems constructed by the artist. Mellon’s ornate busts seem to blend notes from art history, from Roman influences to contemporary, pop style.
Kate MccGwire’s anthropomorphic pieces exude a naturally sourced beauty as they writhe and loom in place. Much of her sculptural and installation work uses materials from the animal world, like pheasant and crow feathers, to create something new entirely. The British sculptor uses a dozen verbs to describe what she does: “I gather, collate, re-use, layer, peel, burn, reveal, locate, question, duplicate, play and photograph.”
While some sculptors sift through piles of objects in antique stores for materials, British artist Paul Hazelton can construct pieces out of the dust that collects on them. His intricate pieces are built with dust, hair, paper scraps, cobwebs, and any unwanted material that collects in the corners of our houses. Pieces like the skeletal “Old Holbein,” constructed from dust and acrylic wire, remind one of both the fragility of the material and the human body it represents.
Scotland-born sculptor Philip Jackson has crafted faithful depictions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mahatma Gandhi, and Sir Matt Busby and served as the Royal Sculptor to Queen Elizabeth II. Yet, Jackson’s also known for his modernist, dramatic gallery works, with characters that are less specific and in many cases, eerie and haunting. The quality present each of these works is Jackson’s seasoned knack for form and inspiring awe.