Tuesday, September 6, 2011

fur and skin.

I have known about the work of Stephanie Metz since we shared the pages of the Fiber Arts Intn'l Catalogue, but most of the work I had seen was of her felted animal sculptures. Though I find these works powerful and her blur(ing of) the line between art and science, natural and unnatural, organic and man-made fascinating. My interest in her work remained on a intellectual level.

However her new series of works titled pelts is an entirely different story. Her appropriation of familiar and nostalgic, often feminine, clothing and morphing them into hair and "fur" is a powerful illustration of the animal nature within us all. It makes us question where does our animal self and are humanity merge and diverge.

She says this about the work:

The ‘Pelt’ sculptures, my newest body of work, reference a jarring truth that struck when I first became a parent. My infant had basic needs and desires that elicited in me physical and emotional responses of astounding intensity. The drive to care for, feed, and protect my young felt deeply personal and yet common throughout the animal kingdom. The messy, uncontrollable, and immensely satisfying elements of being a mother brought home to me that for all my education, tool use, and language, I am essentially a mammal.

One physical hallmark of being a mammal is possessing hair—something humans routinely try to shape, deny, remove, and contain that persists nonetheless. In this work I combine found clothing items that carry their own layers of meaning with hair that intrudes on and reshapes them as a reassertion of the closeted mammal inside. Acknowledging our mammalian roots places humankind back among - not above - other animals.

Her statement shows how this work is so much more personal and for me so much more powerful, and her words are quite honest. I love this new work.

I also am quite attracted to her new series of abstractions- intended to be an extension of her over bred animal series where they represent the warmth and softness desired but without mouth or regular internal organs remain only as an object of aesthetics. I myself want to, in a way, crawl inside of them.

See more of her work here.


Tiaz said...

Amaxing work. Thank you for sharing this.

mike said...

Very impressive. How did you come up with those ideas? Though the other one looks creepy with the .....what is that a real hair?
painter phoenix az