Tony Tasset”s sculptures are certainly eye-catching especially the one that”s a giant eye. For one thing, they”re a study in opposites; his subject matter is often the soft, squishy, watery, and wet, but the actual materials include rigid materials like plastic, fiberglass, and resin. The sculptures are often brightly colored, even lurid, and some are not without controversy. Regardless, they”re all pretty cool.
This giant (three stories!) eyeball lives in Pritzker Park in Chicago. Why an eye? “A lot of my artwork takes things that are already somewhat familiar and recontextualizes them,” Tasset says. “People can project their own ideas onto [the eyeball], but I guess its a symbol of consciousness and being part of a community.”
A series of creepy-looking snowmen
While they all look melty, they”re actually made from polystyrene, resin, and other hard, permanent materials. Twigs and dried leaves make up the features, and they”re all kinds of creepy.
The scarf is made of resins and hard materials, too.
Like the snowmen, it”s made of plastic, but decorations made of human bones are actually a thing.
With blood-red wax dripping out of this (faux) stone shell, this piece looks like some kind of shrine to what, though, we don”t know.
Some of Tasset”s work looks pretty ordinary, but its surreal nature lies in how it”s made. This styrofoam cup, for example, is actually made of solid cast bronze.
…and so is this pumpkin.
This statue of Paul Bunyan is Tasset”s first foray into figurative work on a large scale. It”s his own personal take on the symbolism of the Paul Bunyan myth: “Paul is my portrait of this American moment. The traditional tall tale of Paul Bunyan is an allegory of American optimism, power, and consequence. This Paul is a traditional icon projected into current time. Paul has been forced to grow up.
(via My Modern Met)
Tasset”s work, with its dark brand of humor and its bizarre subjects, hasn”t always been everyone”s cup of tea. When Eye was installed in Pritzker Park, some people felt it was an eyesore. Tasset, however, is okay with that. “I”ve always wanted to make work that people either loved or hated,” he says. “The worst thing would be a kind of innocuous decorative work that you can just pass by, that doesn”t do one thing or another. I wanted to make something with effect.”