SCULPTURE

Upperplayground News

BIOMORPHIC SCULPTURES BY NIKOLAI AND SIMON HAAS

by Ariadna Zierold

nikolai haas, simon haas, haas brothers, design, sculpture, sculptures, creatures, biomorphic, los angeles, provocative, colorful, upper playground

LA-based twins Nikolai and Simon Haas have taken the design world by storm. They have become well-known for their provocative, biomorphic, colorful, and insanely imaginative furniture, ornaments, and commissioned artistry. Nikolai apprenticed as a master carver and Simon studied blacksmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design—and together their pieces, while sleek, still retain some traces of artisanal handiwork.

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WIRE SCULPTURES BY DAVID MORENO

by Ariadna Zierold

david moreno, wire, sculpture, structure, line, steel, sculptures, energetic, cabins, houses, barcelona, spain, upper playground

Barcelona, Spain based artist David Moreno works with sculptures made of steel wires that emulate the fast and energetic style of drawing in a rather wild and sometimes uncontrolled way. Though they are built using a stiff material, Moreno’s sculptures of surreal floating cabins, chairs, and figures exhibit a certain delicacy and tenderness. Using a similar technique to cross-hatching, he is able to create tonal or shading effects of carefully placed lines that are viewed from a specific vantage point.

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“NEW YEAR ROT!” BY LOUISE ZHANG

by Ariadna Zierold

louise zhang, chinese, australian, sydney, australia, painting, sculpture, installation, colorful, vibrant, neon, repulsive, horror, nianhua, new year rot, upper playground

Louise Zhang is a Chinese-Australian artist based in Sydney, Australia. Spanning painting, sculpture and installation, her work negates the space between the attractive and repulsive. With an interest in horror cinema, particularly body horror, Zhang investigates the idea of the visceral as medium, method and symbol in negotiating horror as art form.

louise zhang, chinese, australian, sydney, australia, painting, sculpture, installation, colorful, vibrant, neon, repulsive, horror, nianhua, new year rot, upper playground

Nianhua (年画) is a popular kind of print in China adorning people’s doors to celebrate the new year and to act as a sign of good will that says goodbye to the past and hello to the future. A great portion of these print depict pudgy babies in states of low-key glee as they recline on giant flowers, rid fish or cuddle peaches; it’s a concoction of sweetness that just makes you want to spew up all over the place.

louise zhang, chinese, australian, sydney, australia, painting, sculpture, installation, colorful, vibrant, neon, repulsive, horror, nianhua, new year rot, upper playground

‘New Year Rot!’ brings together this Nianhua imagery with the visual language of the realm of purgatory known in Chinese mythology as Diyu (地獄). This project is a continuation of the artist’s recent research into how situating her desire to attract and repulse her audience is a consequence of the kinds of feelings the horror film genre, and particularly body-horror, generates.

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HUMAN AND ANIMAL RELATIONSHIPS BY WOOKJAE MAENG

by Ariadna Zierold

wookjae maeng, korean, korea, ceramic, ceramics, sculpture, sculptures, animals, animal, surreal, upper playground

Korean artist Wookjae Maeng works with ceramics, focusing on the relationships between humans and animals. The ghostly pieces often resemble commemorative busts or mounted heads reminiscent of big game trophies.

wookjae maeng, korean, korea, ceramic, ceramics, sculpture, sculptures, animals, animal, surreal, upper playground

“I concentrate on art as a vehicle to communicate contemporary social and environmental problems to the viewer by stimulating, not just emotion, but sensibilities and memories. In this regard, ‘stimulus’ plays an import role in the expression of my work and in its perception by the viewer. Visually or sensually appropriate stimuli evoke curiosity in the viewer and their desire to grasp the inner meanings of the work. Within this process the viewer not only intellectually comprehends the work but also viscerally appreciates it if their preconceptions are challenged or senses other than sight are stimulated. This three dimensional appreciation-which engages the viewer both physically and sensually-I believe conveys the message of a work on a deeper level.” Wookjae Maeng

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MYTHOLOGY REALMS BY ADRIAN ARLEO

by Ariadna Zierold

adrian arleo, sculpture, sculptures, ceramic, animal, animals, human, humans, realm, mythology, montana, upper playground

Adrian Arleo is a ceramic sculptor living outside Missoula, Montana. She studied Art and Anthropology at Pitzer College and received her M.F.A. in ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design.

adrian arleo, sculpture, sculptures, ceramic, animal, animals, human, humans, realm, mythology, montana, upper playground

“For over thirty years, my sculpture has combined human, animal and natural imagery to create a kind of emotional and poetic power. Often there’s a suggestion of a vital interconnection between the human and non-human realms; the imagery arises from associations, concerns and obsessions that are at once intimate and universal. The work frequently references mythology and archetypes in addressing our vulnerability amid changing personal, environmental and political realities. By focussing on older, more mysterious ways of seeing the world, edges of consciousness and deeper levels of awareness suggest themselves.” Adrian Arleo

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