Piccinini’s Beautiful Sculptures

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?

Patricia Piccinini

⇧ 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

⇧ 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.

Girl With Owl

⇧ 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

⇧ 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

⇧ 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)

Gazelemet (Oscar)

⇧ Gazellement (Oscar) 2018. A strange sculpture made of silicone, fiber glass and real human hair.

Hello Possums

⇧ Offspring (2005)

The Strength of One Arm

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.

  1. These art sculptures are unique and demonstrate the artist’s talent.These sculptures remind us of the characters from sci-fi movies.It gives us and insight into the queer and fanastical world of the artist and also conveys a strong message on the bonding humans share with other life forms.

  2. How interesting to learn more about Piccinini’s sculptures. These hybrid creatures certainly do challenge traditional views of beauty. And fascinated to know they are made from such a variety of materials including human hair. Some might be a bit disturbing. But they do make you look and try to understand what you are seeing.

  3. I haven’t heard about Patricia Piccinini before but reading your post was an eye opening into her work. I can understand why her work both frightening but also fascinated you. Some of these sculptures looks so realistic but also grotesque. You can definitely tell that she is sending a clear message through her art, to find beauty in the ugliest things and never judge.

  4. Hyperrealism is an up & coming concept. There was an expo here in Belgium too recently of humongous, hyper-realistic sculptures. They can be creepy at times. Thanks for introducing Patricia Piccinini to me. Good to know she uses fiber glass, silicone & even human hair. These human-animal hybrid creations are fascinating. Sanctuary and Young Family are my favourites of the ones you’ve shared. I’m a fan now!

  5. Honestly, I’m not familiar with Piccinini’s works, but when I did, I was utterly astounded. I find her sculptures to be quite peculiar, strange, and even a little frightening. Her incredible talent for creating each of these is to be commended; they are all unique and fantastic. I look forward to seeing her artwork soon.

  6. To be honest, I did find then grotesque as a first time viewer. But on another level, they are fascinating as well. They do jolt us out of our perception of the world and the beauty. It is a different thought process, I guess.

  7. These sculptures are so different, they remind me of something that you’d see in some fantasy parallel universe. The ‘Kindred’ orangutan mother and child one spoke to me a bit, to see the typical monkey like pose with a human face was really interesting. I find some of these a little bit difficult to look at since it’s a startling image, but no one can deny Piccinini’s talent when it comes to the creation of these!

  8. Thank you for the introduction to Patricia Piccinini’s work. In a very unique class as its own. I have to admit that I found it very strange and even repulsive on some sculptures. Then it gave way to the powerful underlying message of her work, which is to overlook the differences and to work on the similarities and ultimately the connection.

  9. Wow, Piccini’s art sculptures are truly unique and thought-provoking! I love how she combines elements of nature with technology to create these strange, yet beautiful creations. The way she challenges our notions of what is natural and what is artificial is fascinating. It’s amazing how lifelike her sculptures are, yet at the same time they are so otherworldly. I would love to see one of her pieces in person someday!

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