Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ernesto Neto and Jessica Calderwood

Ernesto Neto, Humanoids, 2001, Lycra tulle, Styrofoam balls

Ernesto Neto, Leviathan Thot, 2006. Lycra tulle, polyamide, and Styrofoam balls, views of installation at Le Festival d'Automne, Pantheon, Paris

Ernesto Neto, While Nothing Happens, 2008. polyamide tulle, polyamide stockings, wood and spices, views of work installed at MACRO, Rome.

Ernesto Neto, Anthropodino, 2009, views of work installed at the Park Ave Armory, New York

Ernesto Neto, E O Bicho!, 2001, Lycra tulle, polyamide tubes, hooks, tumeric, black pepper, and cloves, view of installation at the Venice Biennale.

My first encounter with Brazilian artist Ernest Neto was the wearable works from his 2001 Humanoids series. As a maker who is interested in wearable works, I loved these furniture like pieces of adornment, although Nesto claims the sculpture is the wearer in this relationship and not visa versa.

Nesto's work remains on my radar because of its connection to the body, although his more recent sculptural installations are less about direct contact and more about establishing a relationship with the viewer through their senses. The stretching and drooping of his skin-like polyamide tulle and stockings are very organ and unknown-body-part-like. He has transformed into an sculptural installation artist creating contemplative environments where the viewer's senses are challenged by a variety of textures, feeling and smells. It is not uncommon for Nesto to include spices like pepper, cumin, and cloves in this soft sculptures which invade the viewers nose while interacting his his world.

I love how grand his scale is getting and can not get enough of this drooping and stretching he is pushing and perfecting. I love that every time I look him up he has installed in a larger and larger venue! In the last few years he has filled both New York's Park Avenue Armory and the Pantheon in Paris for Le Festival d'Automne. Although I know he has a full staff of seamstresses that can help him with these monster constructions but I love seeing his work develop and he is a major influence to my work.

I also see his work influencing other metalsmiths that I adore, like Jessica Calderwood who teaches at UW-Oshkosh. I first found her work when I was doing research on hairdos for my series of music-influenced wigs, however I just adore her installation decisions for her 2005 Drips series. Gotta love Drips and Droops!

Hair Curlers II, enamel, copper, sterling silver, stainless steel, 2.5" x 2.5", 2007

Drips, mixed media installation, Harrywood Gallery, Tempe, AZ, 2005.

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