a tale of a few cities

David Altmejd, Neo-Grotesque

Posted in Art, Sculpture by petercombe on December 8, 2010

On a recent trip to New York City I had the opportunity to see Canadian artist David Altmejd’s sculpture The Giant, 2006, part of the Jeff Koons curated exhibition “Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection”, at the New Museum. Worth the trip entirely. It is a shame though that photo-documentation of Altmejd’s Giant is so poor, in fact much of the documentation of the artist’s work really is sub-par. Was pleased to discover recently  that Todd Selby (of The Selby fame), had shot the artist and works in progress at his studio in Long Island City, Queens in 2008, (top 3 photos and bottom photo).

Just as Yumiko Utsu employs motifs reminiscent of 16th century Italian Mannerist painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527 –  1593), so too does David Altmejd. The latter’s work is much more free-flowing and elaborate than Utsu. Altmejd pumps up the ‘grotesquerie’. One is reminded of mythological creatures found amongst flora and fauna, stalagmites and semiprecious stones Italianate grottos. The pagan themes running through Altmejd’s art plant his oeuvre firmly into the Neo-Grotesque.

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One Response

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  1. Sheena Black said, on August 31, 2011 at 1:34 am

    very interesting


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