BOULEVARD Magazine No.4 December 2013 - Page 62

Where does your fascination with the macabre come from? I believe the fascination comes from a deep seated need to confront our own mortality. Both real and fictional stories help us anticipate how to survive danger. For me Fleshlettes and monsters exist as a sort of extension of the “body horror” genre which I believe has much more to do with understanding aging and death. In this context my sculptures have been a form of therapy. What inspired you to make Fleshlettes? Can you explain a little more the process of making one? The inspiration for Fleshlettes came from three places: First, I wanted to challenge myself to learn how to create hyperrealistic humans in a similar way to Ron Mueck who is one of my heroes. A Fleshlette makes for a great sculpting exercise when I want to focus on different areas of the body. Second I wanted to work in a theme or style that would be identifiable as my own just as H.R. Giger did with his biomechanical motif in the alien films. Finally the idea seemed to strike me like a bolt of lightning one day. Many days passed the idea still felt fresh. I could combine all of my interests in a way that I have never seen before. The process of making a Fleshlette starts with a rough pencil sketch where I work out what body parts I find interesting and arrange them in a design that catches my eye. I keep the 2D concept very loose so that I have room to be inspired and organically design as I sculpt. I make the skin out of polymer clay which surprises most of the people who see them in person. Jordu Schell first taught me how to create realistic skin in this medium and I have continued to extrapolate on his techniques. After the sculpture is done I punch real human or animal hair into the skin one at time just as you would with a special effects sculpture. I then bake the final piece in an oven to cure it. I do a final finishing step that involves painting light washes of clear gloss medium onto the areas of the skin that should appear wet or moist. The 62 |