In a society that seems to promote and reward external beauty, physical attractiveness, it’s inevitable that some people will feel the pressure and will suffer from anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. And with this, Patricia challenges conventional concepts such as beauty, body perfection, and what is ‘natural’ in the digital age by creating hyper-realistic sculptures of hybrid creatures.
Some people may find my work strange or ugly at first, but for me is is always about the journey from repulsion to love. – Patricia Piccinini
Patricia Piccinini: We Are Connected
Welcome to the bizarre and beautiful world of Australian contemporary artist Patricia Piccinini who just ended her first major exhibition in Southeast Asia at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore. She is most recognised for her hyper-realistic human-animal hybrid sculptures made of fiber glass, silicone and even human hair. Her artworks are uniquely uncanny where transgenic experiments are born and genetically engineered.
Her work of art is not the traditional ones we all see at museums and gallery. When I first saw them up-close it freaks me out – their skin tones, eyes, and hair looks so real. If your a fan of sci-fi movies, Star Wars, Marvel and DC mutant characters, they seem to look Piccinini’s sculpture but without armors, weapons and perfect body type and costumes. Physically, her sculptures are mostly a mixture of human and animals, and focus on human emotions and affection.
Some audience find it ugly, grotesque and not art enough for the traditionalist. True her artwork may provoke negative feelings, but that’s the beauty of her modern art it let us questions, agree or disagree about nature versus science. Seeing her gallery is a question to our relationship with the natural world, and what it means to be human in this modern world.
The exhibit was filled with more than 40 different artworks crafted by Piccinini. There are paintings, videos, and of course the mutant sculptures. So the question is, will you be friends with Piccinini’s beautiful strangers?
⇧ The Bond (2016) this is about a relationship between a mother and a transgenic child. Sculpture made with silicone, fiber glass and real human hair and clothing.
⇧ Sanctuary (2018) An intimate and loving affection of two elderly couples embracing. The installation is inspired by the bonobo as they share 98 percent of their DNA with humans. The installation promotes the endangered condition of the bonobos and also breaks the stereotypical imagination that love belongs only to the young ones.
⇧ The Young Family (2002) A hybrid between a pig and a human installation is created using silicone, fiber glass, leather and human hair. According to Piccinini, the babies are being bred for the whole purpose of organ donation.
⇧ Unfurled (2017) and The Grotto (2018) A hyper-realistic sculpture of a girl on a chair with an owl perched on her shoulder. The Grotto is an installation that Piccinini perceives as a highly fertile place. On the walls are a mushroom-bat hybrids manifested as glossy ceramics.
⇧ The Welcome Guest (2011) In this lifelike scene – we have a taxidermised peacock perched on the bed, the sloth like guest and the smiling little girl. According to Piccinini, childlike curiosity and playfulness encourage us all to step away from fear of the unknown and to embrace difference.
⇧ Prone (2011) A very interesting infant sculpture. It has a the nose, digits and ears of a bat. /
⇧ The Comforter (2010) A young girl with excessive hair across her face and body cradling a chimera composed of a cow’s udder with the chin and toes of a human baby.
⇧ Eagle Egg Men (2018) L-R: The Astronomer, The Philosopher & The Optimist.
⇧ The Coup (2012)
Patricia Piccinini: We Are Connected is an exhibition of questions, not answers. It does not tell us what to think, but instead ask how we feel. It invites children and adults to encounter Piccinini’s tender and surreal creatures, and ponder the possibilities of a future in a diverse world that embraces differences.“ – Honor Harper , Vice President of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.
⇧ The Couple (2018)
⇧ Gazellement (Oscar) 2018. A strange sculpture made of silicone, fiber glass and real human hair.
⇧ Offspring (2005)
The Strength of One Arm (2009)
⇧ Kindred (2018) An orangutan-like mother holding her two babies, one more human, the other more primate.
… “The point is not their difference, it is their connection.” – Patricia Piccinini
How do you feel and think about the sculptures? Does it gives you the creeps and weird vibes towards them? Would love to hear your thoughts. Till next time and thanks for reading.