Photo-realistic plaster cast art



I love going to modern/contemporary-art museums (actually I enjoy modern/contemporary art much more than “old masters”), and I am especially fond of what photo-realistic plaster cast art (there might be an actual art-world term for it, but I’m not aware of it). Since I came across another nice example of such art this morning, I thought I’d point out some of the artists that I’m aware of. Shown above is a piece of work by Patricia Piccinini, who has produced installations (such as the absolutely fantastic “We Are Family”) and photography (for example “Nature’s Little Helpers”), using her creatures in staged photography. My favourite is probably Thunderdome with its subtitle “It is possible that these two females are attracted to the noise and smell of the drag racing.”

Then there is, of course, Ron Mueck, whose installations show humans (and not weird mutants), but they typically come in odd sizes (to phrase it mildly). For example see this photo of “In Bed” along with some visitors of the museum.

If you’re disturbed by either Patricia Piccinini’s weird animals you probably want to stop watching at the rest of my list. Harma Heikens’s humans look mostly normal, but they’re either depicted in somewhat or outright disturbing ways, where they are not mutated completely out of shape.

And then there are, of course, Dinos and Mark Chapman, whose “work repeats like a bad curry” (their own quote, source) and who claim they got “loads of talent but no real taste” (source), and it’s hard to see how that’s not true. In any case, with the Chapmans it’s always a mutilation galore, and even though that kind of art might really be a question of taste (or the actual lack of it), I think there is a lot to be said about, for example, their recreation of one of Goya’s gruesome images of war.

PS: Someone informed me that what I’m talking about here is contemporary art and not modern art, since the latter apparently refers to a time period long gone (say Rothko or Pollock). I apparently completely outed myself as someone who is not in the know (the primordial sin of the contemporary - and we also have to assume modern - art world), all that to the deafening sounds of eyebrows all over the world being raised.