Peter Callesen uses paper itself as a medium, carefully cutting away forms and shapes from a sheet of backdrop, then reconstructing those fallen bits into miniature sculptures that are sometimes still connected to the flat blank paper they used to be, almost as if they were falling out of place. These simple delicate masterpieces combine two-dimensional shapes with three-dimensional sculptures, now affected by gravity and casually laying upon the wooden frame’s platform.
In “Dead Angels” this is exactly the case, winged skeletons falling from the cutout silhouettes of flying angels. The concept behind trace and form lends itself to this duality of ideas – the lack of paper inside the angels’ forms indicate their absence, accounted for by the three skeletons only held up by the paper’s thick wooden frame, their wings still attached but useless. I especially love the third skeleton, hanging by one big toe to the angel he used to be as his body leans upside-down, but in a silly way, arms outstretched as if to say ‘oh well.’
Dead Angels, 2007
Acid Free paper, glue, acrylic paint, and oak frame.
127 x 94 x 11,5 cm.
“City of Homeless Thoughts” visualizes its title metaphorically, the intricately cut profile view of a head is filled with interlocked tubes and wiring that branch outside his form, cast above the frame litered with miniature paper houses.
City of Homeless Thoughts , 2008
Acrylic paint, on 120 gsm acid free paper, pencil and oak frame.
139 x 106 x 13 cm.
“Cut to the Bone II” is the funniest of them all in a dark twisted kind of way – a skeleton against a dull pink background rolls down the paper his form came from, his skeleton legs and feet still drawn inside the painted paper that’s held rolled up by his skinny little skeleton fingers at the hips.
Cut To The Bone II, 2008
Watercolor and pencil on 120 gsm acid free paper, glue, and oak frame.
139 x 107 x 13 cm.
“The Roots of Heaven” shows a poetic detail of a tree too symmetrical to be real, its cut out form laying on the frame, still connecting and now visually serving as the tree’s roots, linking it to its past.
The Roots of Heaven, 2009
Acid-free 120 gsm paper, glue, acrylic paint and wooden frame.
107 x 107 x 13 cm
See more of Peter Callesen’s work on his website here.
“Shift” by Emil Alzamora, 2008
A torso emerges from the grass, made of rough white rock with his swaying left to right – a motion indicated by a dizzying technique in sculpture magic that records all the little individual moments while the head moves through space and creates a fluid connection between two heads that looks like a sleeker artistic version of The Matrix. The tumblr Like a Field Mouse titled the piece, “Not shaking the grass” which I thought was cute. But the sculpture is actually called “Shift,” created by Peruvian artist Emil Alzamora, whose portfolio contains surreal sculptures of the human form like this one that twist and elongate bodies in ways that question nearly everything, from consumer culture to the time space continuum.
“Ultima Thule” by Emil Alzamora, ceramic, 2007
My favorite were these stuck-in-time sculptures, which included “Ultima Thule” too – a man standing in two places, connected to his former self by the same kind of blur of motion that’s repeated here but creates a more basic, symmetrical representation of the same idea. The sculptures in this world experience every moment individually and forever, multiple consciousnesses frozen between two places – eternal but limited.
The slenderness of their bodies almost makes them seem like aliens, like a Modern sculptural version of the Mannerist style that painters raved about after the High Renaissance, where women had long fingers and necks that reached just a little too high. The baby Jesus in Parmigianino’s “Madonna with Long Neck” looks like he was stretched like taffy, his long body way too giant for a baby.
But in Alzamora’s sculptures, this elongation is refined and tailored, the ceramic pieces often shiny with glaze. Some bodies remain muscular but most are thin with a remoteness that brings an element of robot to the alien/human mix. Be careful to keep these aesthetics away from the robotics industry cause it would be a poetic, beautiful death if they took over the world.
See more of Alzamora’s work on his website here.