Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hyperrealistic Sculpture: From Death Masks to Madame Tussaud and Beyond

Ever since our prehistoric ancestors first picked up chunks of limestone and carved crude female figurines some 20,000 years ago, we humans have been trying to depict the human form in three dimensions using everything from wood, stone, clay and bronze, to modern synthetic materials such as silicone, polyurethane, fiberglass, and polyester resin. The following series of videos takes a look at some of the processes involved in creating hyperrealistic reproductions of the human form -- from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Seventeenth-century Spanish polychrome sculpture was intended to appear as lifelike as possible. The following video produced by the Getty Museum offers a glimpse into the complex processes involved in creating the life-like statue, Saint GinĂ©s de la Jara.

In 1835 Madame Tussaud established her first permanent exhibition of wax sculptures in London. Wax Museums continue to be a popular form of entertainment today. This Discovery Channel's How It's Made video shows how these wax figures are made. 

Australian-born hyperrealist Ron Mueck's sculptures reproduce the human body in all its minute details while playing with scale to produce disarmingly powerful images. The following three videos give an in-depth look at Mueck's processes. 

Click here for Part II

Click here for Part III

To end on a lighter, if more macabre note, this video by Putrid Pictures gives a twisted take on the time-honored tradition of death masks. From ancient Egypt to modern times, death masks have been created as a way of immortalizing the flesh of the human face before it begins to rot away.

Upcoming at Offramp Gallery

Sunday, August 5, 2012, 3pm
LOU BEACH 420 Characters
Reading & Book Signing
Click here to RSVP

June 24 - August 5, 2012
Lou Beach: Stories & Pictures
Closing Reception, Reading & Book Signing: Sunday, August 5, 2-5pm


In the Garden
June 24 - August 5, 2012
Jay Willis: Ring of Fire
Closing Reception: Sunday, August 5, 2-5pm