Fragmented Sculptures of Humankind Curated by Yellowtrace

 

From the godly Winged Victory of Samothrace in Le Louvre, to Michelangelo’s giant David at Galleria dell’Accademia and Rodin’s smooth embrace, The Kiss—artists across history seem to have enjoyed freezing our likeness and our stories, great battles, loves and lives in glossy stone. The classic and ancient masterpieces pitched heroes and biblical characters as towering, stone-faced gods—a lasting testament to humanity’s perishable, earthly legend.

Now though, a new set of artists are creating marble portraits and classical spinoffs that show off the human form, but also our fragmented, flawed nature—and the complicated, cracked, and crooked world we live in. Here are just a few of our favourites.

 

See more portrait art on Yellowtrace.

 

Portrait of Julian by Alejandro Maestre | Yellowtrace

Portrait of Julian by Alejandro Maestre | Yellowtrace

Portrait of Julian by Alejandro Maestre | Yellowtrace

Portrait of Julian by Alejandro Maestre | Yellowtrace

Portrait of Julian by Alejandro Maestre | Yellowtrace

Portrait of Julian by Alejandro Maestre | Yellowtrace

Portrait of Julian by Alejandro Maestre | Yellowtrace

Portrait of Julian by Alejandro Maestre | Yellowtrace

Portrait of Julian by Alejandro Maestre | Yellowtrace

 

Portrait of Julian by Alejandro Maestre // Spanish photographer Alejandro Maestre has worked with the likes of Burberry and Audi, and is interested in fleshing out the boundaries of digital post-production magic. His latest personal project is EL HOMBRE QUE SE CREA—a striking portrait series of artist Julián Cánovas-Yañez. Julian is a multidisciplinary artist and basically the modern iteration of the renaissance man. Across the series of 20 images, Julian sculpts himself into being, discovering his artistic body and spirit.


 

Emerging Figures by Graziano Locatelli | Yellowtrace

Emerging Figures by Graziano Locatelli | Yellowtrace

Emerging Figures by Graziano Locatelli | Yellowtrace

Emerging Figures by Graziano Locatelli | Yellowtrace

Emerging Figures by Graziano Locatelli | Yellowtrace

 

Emerging Figures by Graziano Locatelli // Italian sculptor Graziano Locatelli’s humans burst forth from cracked subway tiles, being born into a new reality or breaking free from an imprisoned state. It’s a reinterpretation of the classic flat plane, bass-relief style sculpture, showing humanity amongst disruption and wreckage.


 

Abstract Sculptures by Barbara Leoniak | Yellowtrace

Abstract Sculptures by Barbara Leoniak | Yellowtrace

Abstract Sculptures by Barbara Leoniak | Yellowtrace
Abstract Sculptures by Barbara Leoniak | Yellowtrace

 

Abstract Sculptures by Barbara Leoniak // Sculptor Barbara Leoniak’s abstract faces may appear like ribbons of marble from a distance—a stone rendering of an Egyptian mummy unravelling perhaps. They are, however, made of cardboard dipped in milky white resin. Almost a Möbius strip with one continuous line joining the faces, each sculpture exhibits a sense of continuity and interconnectivity.


 

Broken Figures by Daniel Arsham | Yellowtrace

Broken Figures by Daniel Arsham | Yellowtrace

Broken Figures by Daniel Arsham | Yellowtrace

Broken Figures by Daniel Arsham | Yellowtrace

 

Broken Figures by Daniel Arsham // New York-based artist Daniel Arsham is the artist half of art slash architecture duo, Snarkitecture. His eerie human sculpture was first shown at the exhibition booth of Baró Galeria at UNTITLED art fair in Miami in 2015. The five fragments make up the shape of a doe-eyed woman, frozen in broken pieces of silvery selenite crystal and volcanic ash.


 

IF I WERE by Cao Hui | Yellowtrace

IF I WERE by Cao Hui | Yellowtrace

IF I WERE by Cao Hui | Yellowtrace

IF I WERE by Cao Hui | Yellowtrace

IF I WERE by Cao Hui | Yellowtrace

IF I WERE by Cao Hui | Yellowtrace

IF I WERE by Cao Hui | Yellowtrace

 

IF I WERE by Cao Hui // Chinese artist Cao Hui’s fractured bust breaks down to reveal the great mind within. Cast in resin to resemble classic sculpture, the artist gives life to the frozen likeness. Maybe Cao Hui is suggesting the old masters succeeded in preserving humanity’s vitality and legend in inanimate stone statues: our creativity and lifeblood and ingenuity live on, beneath the stony surface.


 

Marble Sculptures by Jonathan Owen | Yellowtrace

Marble Sculptures by Jonathan Owen | Yellowtrace

Marble Sculptures by Jonathan Owen | Yellowtrace

 

Marble Sculptures by Jonathan Owen // Scottish artist Jonathan Owen’s sculptures begin as relics of another time: 19th-century marble statues and busts that he re-carves into disjointed and fragmented versions of their original selves. Each piece is a wildly intricate fusion of human and object, a surprising, surreal evolution of form.

 


[Images courtesy of the artists.]

 

About The Author

Sammy Preston

Sammy Preston is a writer, editor, and curator living in Sydney. Working especially within art and design, and then lifestyle and culture more broadly, Sammy is a senior writer at Broadsheet, and a contributing digital editor at Foxtel's Lifestyle platform. Sammy also contributes regularly to art and design press like VAULT Magazine, Art Collector, Art Edit, Habitus, and Indesign magazines. She's written art essays for MUSEUM, exhibition texts for Sophie Gannon Gallery, and has worked as an arts and culture editor for FBi Radio. In 2016, she worked as part of the editorial team for Indesign Magazine as digital editor during the publication's pivotal print and website redesign. Sammy was also the founding manager and curator of contemporary art space Gallery 2010—a curator-run initiative housed within a Surry Hills loading dock. The gallery hosted exhibitions with emerging and established artists from 2012 until 2016.

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