It embarrassed you when you brought your friends home from school. Maybe it still does. It is your Mom's 'Hummels'. A morose collection of cutesy ceramic figurines that she keeps in the China cupboard so as not to collect dust. You told her a hundred times they were dumb but man, the spanking you got when you 'accidentally' dropped one and the umbrella chipped was not worth the artistic duel.
But times they are a-changing. Thanks to London artist Barnaby Barford. He finds the dolls (probably for a pittance on eBay) and their ceramic counterparts and transforms them into sinister, yet darkly humorous modern sculptures. Placed in twisted street-real narratives, and dressed in hoodies, these ceramic sculptures actually seem, (can I say it?) cool. And what a way to recycle!
"Does this mean we're not getting any Presents? 2009
London artist Polly Morgan whispers the breath of art into roadkill.
Using only animals that have died naturally or are given to her by friends (some veterinarians) she immortalizes the creatures unlike anyone else in her field.
Polly Morgan is single-handedly modernizing the antiquated art of taxidermy by taking the animal out of context and allowing others to see the beauty of that instant in time - that instant of the final breath.
Her works remind me of a poem by Emily Dickinson.
I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb, When one who died for truth was lain In an adjoining room.
He questioned softly why I failed? "For beauty," I replied. "And I for truth - the two are one; We brethren are," he said. And so, as kinsmen met a-night, We talked between the rooms, Until the moss had reached our lips, And covered up our names.