The relaunch of Art in Love wouldn’t be complete without a new Contemporary Sculpture Roundup. I (Jeremy) haven’t stopped discovering talented artists who are producing mind-blowing work and I’m excited to share my findings with you in the coming weeks.
First up, I’m very excited to feature Marela Zacarias, whose work feels super fresh while somehow being rooted in her Mexican heritage. Personally, I have a visceral response to the work, the movement and color is arresting. My initial attention is rewarded by the pattern and shape play in the painting which is rich with detail and, because of the undulating surface area, seems to change when seen from different angles. There’s a really great balance between what I’m precieving as historically Mexican pottery designs and contemporary geometric abstraction. From Zacarias’ statement, this seems to be her intention: “her work combines painting and sculpture and is characterized by an interest in site specificity, the history contained in objects, and current events.”
It’s easy to see that Andrew Ramiro Tirado is mildly obsessed with hands. Working in a variety of mediums (wood and metal sculpture, painting and drawing, even kinetic sculpture) his works are keenly focused on the elegant complexity of the human hand. His large scale sculptures range from 6′ to 20′ long and are often displayed suspended from the ceiling. Tirado’s background in woodworking, custom fabrication and set design feed in to his large scale, fully in-the-round works and workable kinetic sculptures. And I can see his experience as a studio assistant with the legendary Chuck Close in the large scale painting and drawing works Tirado creates as studies for his sculptural work.
Personally, I love the balance and restraint Tirado shows in not overworking his materials. While some areas of his sculptures are taken to a uniform finish, completely “rendered” – other areas are allowed to show the raw wood blocking and rough ends of the reclaimed wood with which he is working. To me, this is magic in the vein of Rodin. The potential of the raw material is clearly manifest, the sculpture allowed to freeze mid-transformation from pile of salvaged boards to life-like giant hand.
What I love about Gabriele Beveridge’s work is the juxtaposition of materials and conceptual frameworks. Beveridge is using found imagery from what appear to be fashion or makeup ads; they look sun-bleached and aged as if they were taped to a south-facing salon window for a year before being replaced with the new crop of makeup advertising. There’s an overall cleanliness and simplicity to her work that feels like Scandinavian minimalism, but when paired with the color tones of faded advertising and overlays of hand-blown glass, marble and crystals the viewer is left with a surrealist dream-like impression. It’s a compelling balance of mystery and minimalism.
From Beveridge’s statement: “My work is a kind of estrangement of nostalgia, constructing environments or redundant imagery that construe something familiar and yet uncanny, removing the context with which they were originally associated.”
Lee Jae Hyo
Korean born artist Lee Jae Hyo has crafted a unique process that is as compelling as it is original. The craftsmanship and innovation clearly shine here, and the mysterious nature of the finished product evokes a near irresistible curiosity about the sculptural objects (I wish I could touch these pieces).
Lee Jae Hyo’ process starts with creating a wood form that is precisely the shape of the desired finished piece, the wood form is covered in a maze of nails partially driven into the wood and then bent down to fit the contours of the wood form. The nail-covered piece is then ground to a smooth surface, polishing and unifying the nails into a perfect exterior. Jae Hyo then burns away the surface of the wood to expose the roots of the nails, when the charred wood is removed there is a halo of nails seemingly in orbit around the contour of the wood. The final result is evocative of microbes, symbols, constellations and lettering. The lettering connotation in particular Jae Hyo takes advantage of with a series of rune-like pieces.
How do you like the Contemporary Sculpture Roundups? I’d love to hear your suggestions and feedback, leave me a note in the comments. That’s all for now. Plenty more to come.
Other installments of this series can be found here: PART I, PART II, PART III
Unless otherwise noted, all photos come from the artist’s websites.