Dennis Mcnett aka Wolfbat’s Wood Carvings Mix Punk and Norse Imagery

by CaroPosted on

Brooklyn, NY based artist Dennis Mcnett’s spirit animal is the wolfbat, a moniker that he has adopted for his dynamic wood carvings and installations featuring creatures, full scale temples and vehicles like viking ships inspired by Norse mythology. His wolfbat character has origins in Fenrir, a monstrous wolf that has been depicted in art and literature throughout history, sometimes as a metaphor for Satan or Goliath, other times as a symbol for rebellion against authority. The creature made its first appearance in Mcnett’s work at the Deitch Art Parade in New York city in 2006 as a 16ft puppet operated by 20 of the artist’s close friends in elaborate masks. Over time, a tribe of characters including other creatures like dragons, ravens, eagles and snakes was born, with design roots in traditional reliefs and the raw high-energy imagery pouring out of the early 80’s skateboard and punk rock scene. In this resurrection, as Mcnett calls it, the artist relates the wolfbat to working class people, bound by rules and 9-5 schedules enforced by giant corporations in modern society. “It’s easy to be cynical in this world,” he says. “For me, it’s not always easy to walk through life with positivity and try to offer that positivity back to the world. I find it fun and effective to offer it with characters, story telling, collaboration, made-up myth and meditation.” Mcnett is currently showing a new series of his hand-carved wood cut pieces at Artists Republic in Laguna Beach, CA through February 14th, 2016.

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