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Nicola Costantino’s Sculptures Confront Animal Cruelty

Argentinian-born artist Nicola Constantino pushes the controversial issue of animal rights and the relationship between birth and mortality in her sometimes graphic, always peculiar sculptures of animals. Whether a pig hanging from a conveyor belt, or birds compressed into perfectly round balls, the sculpted animals in Constantino’s works are manipulated in ways that feel forced and staged for human needs.

Argentinian-born artist Nicola Constantino pushes the controversial issue of animal rights and the relationship between birth and mortality in her sometimes graphic, always peculiar sculptures of animals. Whether a pig hanging from a conveyor belt, or birds compressed into perfectly round balls, the sculpted animals in Constantino’s works are manipulated in ways that feel forced and staged for human needs.

The series “Cajas” features casts of horse fetuses contorted and twisted to fit in the sides of wooden boxes. The stony-white color appears as marble or ivory, causing one to wonder if the horses are being memorialized, like the deceased sculpted on Roman sarcophagi, or if they are packaged with unsavory motives.

Other sculptures include Costantino’s “Bolas” series, in which various likenesses of animal fetuses – chickens, calves, pigs, and Rhea birds – are molded into balls of different sizes, and cast in droll materials. Calf balls for example, were cast in polyester resin and speckled around a vast green field, where they remain as part of a private collection. The final products are aesthetically interesting to view and at first glance, resemble foreign planets engulfed in a cloudy storm. However, upon closer examination, the animals begin to take shape and the viewer is often left with unsettling sensations.

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