These Pink-Painted Cockle Shells, carefully placed and adhered to a pink board is a work by artist Tony Feher (1956–2016). I first saw the piece from the side as I entered the gallery from another room and was intrigued by how much the shells looked like the suckers of a octopus (see detail photo, below)! It may look like a ‘kid could do this,’ but consider the thought behind it in the scope of the artist’s oeuvre. The work is actually part of a series entitled It Didn’t Turn Out The Way I Expected from 2016.
Katharina Fritsch makes meticulous reproductions of everyday objects, rendering them unfamiliar through extreme shifts in scale and either alluring or repellent color choices. Indeed, saturated and non reflective collators of color lend her sculptures a stones sense of otherworldliness.
“I always call the starting point [for a sculpture] a vision,” she has said. “I’ll be in a tram or driving a car and suddenly I get a picture in my mind. Something completely normal turns into a miracle — something I’ve never seen before. Simple things you see every day turn into something strange, something alien.”
Woman With Dog (2004) is clearly sealed up — enormously so — from from a small figurine made of seashells, as one might find in a beachside souvenir shop.
Photographed in the Art Institute, Chicago.