filed under: art
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look closely at the fantastic sea creatures created by south african born, massachusetts based sculptor jennifer maestre and you will see that they’re made of pencils. that’s right, you heard me. jen’s current work is skillfully crafted from hundreds and hundreds of colored pencils. they’re cut into one inch pieces, sharpened and then drilled through to become beads, and then sewn together using a peyote stitch. in each of these incredible works you can feel the approach-avoid paradox from her medium – a clear and surprising achievement (and one of her goals). you can also see the genesis and extension of a simply fascinating idea.
all that contrasty tension in the spikey points and smooth, undulating surfaces serve as reminders of all that is dangerously attractive in nature. the textures, at first glance, give way to a certain complex reveal that comes from deep inside a person who is not only a visionary, but also a truly enlightened master of color.
i love to see the progression and throughlines of artist’s work, and jen’s website is a fabulous example of this. knowing that she started out with the idea using nails when she was a student (see the first 3 photos above), and then having it evolve organically into pencils and then being nimble enough with the concept to extend this thought into something wearable and accessible to people who aren’t hardcore collectors is truly extraordinary and seems so purposeful, and successful to me.
and i want to touch everything, even though they’re sharp, and stick my head inside that tall guy with the gaping hole at the top, to see all the spikes in there. to stare. and think and evolve like the piece itself must have done.
see more magnificence on jennifer’s website.
bonus: check out her beautiful pendants, pins and small sculpture in her etsy shop!