Archives for posts with tag: sculpture

I know what you are thinking.  How gross!  But I wanted to start this new week off with a bang. I want to introduce you an artist who has two hobbies that give me the heebie-geebies, hunting and taxidermy.

David R. Harper specializes in sculpture, drawing, and embroidery and combines them with the unappealing, self-taught hobby of taxidermy.  At 26 years old, is finishing up his Masters in Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago and his works are currently being shown at the Textile Museum of Canada. My question is: When will he show in an American museum?

His painstaking work takes a lot of time to perfect and complete.  One of his larger works includes a life-size horse which is made entirely out of cow hides with a Victorian woman delicately embroidered into the rear of the animal.

The Last to Win (2008)

His pelts are intricately embroidered and deliberate in their message.  They give a new spin on a luxury, giving it a rough edge with a little dab of mortality.  I love that he embroiders pictures of long-past persons on these pelts that belong to a long-past animal.  To me it is a unification of man and animal, blurring the lines that define humans from other mammals.  It’s as he is saying that we shouldn’t care about defining ourselves from our animal friends, for in the end it doesn’t matter.

Then there are David’s sculptures which echo the themes of his pelts.  However, I feel that these pieces are like a car crash: you are revolted by the sight but find it so interesting that you are unable to look away.  His sculptures are not the most beautiful by traditional standards, but definitely are stunning in their own right.

Guild (2007)

Title Unknown

Bear Skin Rug (2008)

Fox 39 (2008)

Graze (2005)

A Tribute to Canadian Rock and Roll (2005)


Because of Fashion Week the Textile Arts Center’s blog has been consumed with fashion. However, with our Grand Opening party quickly approaching and the opening of our first gallery exhibition, Cutting Edge: A Celebration of Fiber, it is time to get back to the forward-thinking art.  One artist whose work spans over the past 16 years immediately came to mind.

I came across Joana Vasconcelos one day when I googled fiber art.  One of the first pictures to pop up was a piece called Piano Dentelle (2008) which is a hand crochet piano and stool.  Of course I was immediately drawn to it being a woman of music.  It just looks so dainty, like those piano fortes that were used in the time of Mozart.  I just want to run my fingers across the ivory.

This artist doesn’t stop at just pianos; she covers literally every surface imaginable with beautiful crochet covers.  I wish I could put more of her beautiful snakes up on this, but I’ll leave a little mystery so you will go out and check out her amazing website.

(Yes, it is a urinal.)

Joana was born in Paris and now lives and works in Lisbon.  Her creative process is based on the appropriation, decontextualization, and subversion of pre-existent objects and everyday realities.  From this process she derives a conversation of contemporary idiosyncrasies: hand-crafted/industrial, private/public, tradition/modernity, and popular culture/erudite culture.

Her materials range all over the spectrum of materials, some materials you wouldn’t even suspect…like pots, zip-ties, and tampons.

Marilyn 2009 (Materials: Pots and Pot Lids)

The Bride 2001 (Material: Tampons)

Wives 2005 (Material: Zip Ties)

Sugar Baby 2010 (Materials: Plastic Sand Moulds, Stainless Steel)

Mr. Wine 2010 (Material: Wrought Iron)

And remember, the Textile Arts Center’s Grand Opening party and Cutting Edge:A Celebration of Fiber are both this Friday September 17th from 8pm-11pm.  Music, food, beer, wine, and great textile art.  (Suggested donation of $20.00)

Lieve Jerger’s blood is laced in history, creation, and modernization of lace.  From the time that her mother taught Lieve how to hand-make lace to her current stay in San Pedro, California where she teaches L.A. based students how to make lace.

But what Lieve is really know for is her invention of copper lace: the same technique of making lace using thin copper wire as the thread.  The work is breathtaking.  You have all the delicate wonders of lace yet the effect of crafted jewelry.

She creates beautiful sculptures and windows carefully and methodically.  My favorites are her windows.  Beautiful and still, their presence changes with the dawn and dusk.

Look at the fascinating way she had to envision the spaces in the lace.  Most of the time artists are looking to fill spaces with more stuff, more noise.  Lieve uses the spaces to her advantage, they become the center of the focus rather than the afterthought.  With lace it is all about the space between, about being able to see through the piece as well as have the environment behind the piece to pierce through.  Almost as if the work is suspended in the environment. Amazing.

Her lifelike sculptures are something to behold.  Her hand creation looks almost life-like, you just want to shake it.  Or her delicate floating leaf.  Makes me look forward to the changing trees and the “crunch, crunch” when you take an Autumn walk in Central Park.

One of her  larger sculptures is the Quantum Lace Cube.  A second sun on the horizon.

An interesting fact about copper, it’s an antibacterial!  It instinctively kills potentially harmful pathogens.  Copper is able to disinfect itself every 8 hours. Thus having one of these beautiful sculptures around would benefit your health and your surrounding aesthetic.

Today I am going to talk a little bit about these beautiful sculpture tapestries created by the genius El Anatsui. Every tapestry is made from tops of evaporated milk tins, rusty metal graters and old printing plates, liquor bottle caps, all gathered in and around Nsukka, Nigeria, where the artist has lived and worked for the last 28 years. All of the cutting, manipulating, and reattaching of these different metals culminate into stunning, visual feasts.  The tapestries’ aesthetics are inspired by traditions of Ghana and Nigeria.


Though his work is based in West African societies and practices the commentary of his work transcends to any society.   “Through their associations, his humble metal fragments provide a commentary on globalization, consumerism, waste and the transience of people’s lives in West Africa and beyond. Their re-creation as powerful and transcendent works of art–many of which recall traditional practices and art forms–suggests as well the power of human agency to alter such harmful patterns.” (from National Museum of African Art)

El Anatsui will be hosting a North American Tour beginning this October.  The show When I Last Wrote To You About Africa will consist of 60 El Anastui’s sculptures which were pulled from public and private collections, and will cover over 40 years of El Anastui’s work.

Tour Dates:

October 2, 2010 to January 2, 2011 – Institute for Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Winter 2011 – Museum for African Art, in New York

November 12, 2011 – February 5, 2012 – The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor

March 8 – June 17, 2012 – The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

September 2 – December 1, 2012 – The Denver Art Museum