This recent sculpture exhibition, Gargouilles, by Nicolas Deshayes at Modern Art has that seductive/repellent quality that I find so intriguing. What we think of as soft, organic forms are rendered here in hard, heavy materials.
The beautiful production and finish of these pieces belies their subject matter – I feel fascination with an edge of fear, sensing something almost devilish at work. Reading about the exhibition afterwards I wasn’t surprised to learn of the influence of folklore and the uncanny.
You have to admit that this piece is creepy. It evokes the sound of scratching on a blackboard amongst other things.
Squashed fleshy shapes are rendered in patinated bronze like a perverse mammogram. Any person who has had one will know what I mean.
There is plenty here to linger in the mind, like the disembodied torso in a bath and unnerving porcine hedgehog. I know it isn’t just me.