a project I started in 2008, is an exploration of identity through a transformative process mimicking cosmetic surgery. Using people as a starting point, I apply paint and other materials to sculpt another identity on them, often they are made to resemble well-know modern archetypes, iconic figures, or pop celebrities. My work functions as a speculative dialogue between the model, the recreated subject, and myself. Under all that suffocating material, they are people who do not look anything like the final image. These hybrids explore the identity as a construction and the alter-ego in our digital age.
An exploration on the power of the image and how we too-often idolise people for what they are not
Celebrities invites questions on the notions of beauty, the growing plastic surgery industry, genders and identity, while asking viewers to rethink the role of the picture in today’s image-obsessed society.
On how anxiety became a modern epidemic
The taste of America
Residency project, Anderson Ranch Arts Center USA
The puppet show
On what it’s like being a woman in a world of plastic archetypes and limited identity moulds
The Calendar girls I’ve created in this series are the girls you want to be—or at least, that’s what we’re told. Dressed up in pop-art colours, sexy T-shirts, and heads of extravagant hair, they are ready for the camera. Each figure is a distorted representation of commodified femininity: the different facets of “womanhood” that people are told to strive for. There’s the recent divorcee, who is trying to cover up her stress with a manic, celebratory smile; a stylish woman dressed in blood-red leather and tanned a dark, orange hue; and the painted pop-star diva who poses with a creepy, lipless snarl. This is a cast of characters aimed at making you think about what it’s like being a woman in a world of plastic archetypes and limited identity moulds.
BIRDS OF HOLLYWOOD
A postmodern tribute
Alfred Hitchcock, John Waters, Quentin Tarantino, Kenneth Anger, Alejandro Jodorowsky have challenged mainstream film culture by breaking taboos, often in regards to the depiction of violence, sexuality, and altered states of consciousness. They have also invented new genres and filming techniques along the way. David Lynch is one of my favorites, due to his unique style of surreal, scary, and sexy movies. “Negativity is the enemy of creativity,” Lynch once said; these are encouraging words for me, as I draw on my creative energy to construct living sculptures with a dynamic and often satirical flair. As a postmodern tribute, Birds of Hollywood channels the creativity of the featured directors by playfully recreating their images. The resemblance ended up being uncanny, and the exaggerated forms and abstractions work together in portraying the unique energy of each individual. Even though I have not had the opportunity to meet any of these people personally, this project makes it feel as though I have.
THEY ARE WATCHING
Anti-social personality that is not ready to be seen
While the Internet provides infinite ways for us to connect and communicate, it has also created the perfect platform for creeps around the world to harass and disturb people. In They are watching, I inverted the power dynamic by turning the camera onto these weirdoes, catching them red-handed. Like a taxidermy of madness, each plastered face represents a terrifyingly anti-social personality that is not ready to be seen. They stare back shamelessly at the lens with wide eyes set in passive faces, peering right into your soul with the same obsessive focus that they use to follow people online. The titles of the sculptures—such as “I’ll kiss you in the rain so you’ll get twice as wet” and “Push until she screams yes”—derive from chauvinistic memes that suggest entitlement to and ownership over their prey. With this project, I set out to scare myself, and I succeeded sculpting the disturbed faces of invisible predators as I imagine them behind the screen.