Evolution Gone Awry (The Disturbing Art of Patricia Piccinini)

If you’ve never seen Patricia Piccinini’s sculptures, then you have missed out on a whole world of weirdness. Take a look at the photo below from “The Fitzroy Series” (2012). Look at the mix of an actual environment and the sculpted creatures. The boy sleeping in the bed? He’s probably a sculpture too.

70Bedroom,10.30pm

She uses a combination of  silicone, fibreglass and human hair to create her sculptures. Often she pairs her bizarre beings with imagined future beings.

She also offers a series of sculptures that cause the viewer to question whether this is a creature that once lived or possibly a result of laboratory tinkering. Take a look at “Offering” (2009). Is this a dog? Perhaps a werewolf cub? It certainly evokes a warm babyish feeling.

offering 2009

Now take a look at “Newborn” (2010). Perhaps this is the offering grown a little larger?

newborn 2010

This little guy looks comforting yet disturbing at the same time. Are those arms? Fingers? Tentacles? I’m not sure. Does it have a trunk?

In her series “Aloft” (2010) she shows an ominous nest dangling above viewers’s heads.

12Aloft

From the second story, viewers can see inside the nest. Note that the boy didn’t craw in there. He’s sculpted.

larva

Yes, disturbing is this artist’s middle name. I don’t know what worries me more, the giant larval creatures or the kid about to tumble to the floor.

Finally, look at one of her most recent projects “Welcome Guest” (2011). Here we have more full grown creature paired with a child.

Welcome Guest

As always in Piccinini’s sculptures, the children look happy and calm when faced with the bizarre or unusual. This piece makes me wonder what the welcome guest evolved from. Those claws are disturbing.

To see more of Piccinini’s sculptures, visit her website.

Tim Kane

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