This summer, I spent one month in Spain. Among the things I witnessed, none inspired me more than the metal sculptures of spanish artist Cristino Diez. Beautiful, terrible insectoids, deep-sea monsters and otherworldly creatures put together by iron and untold thousands of weld lines.
The same day I got back home, I knew I had to do something, so I started working on this creature…
This is the head of a garden hoe, and the jaw of a reindeer. Considering the creature, I thought of some feline alien robot monster, but I’d be damned if I was going to make a xenomorph, So I’ve put the jaw on the shelf for now.
I gave it a pair of legs and a torso to stand on, because holding a hoe all day gets tiresome in the long run (and I suck at performance art) I pounded six rebars about half a meter down in the ground, to see if I’d bother continue the creature before whipping up a base large and sturdy enough to support it.
Spine, neck and sternum courtesy of some rusty old chains. Ribs of various crap, clavicles of rebar. The scapulae took a while to get right. all you need is some rebar, large nuts and a couple iron plates I cut and hammered into shape.
As base for the arms, I used an ancient pipe i found in the ocean, complete with barnacles. I’ve started adding rebar to strengthen the form and create bases for biceps, triceps and delts. Also started alluding to leg musculature using our old pal rebar.
Next, I want me some tail.
There we go. Spent about three days trying out various poses and materials for the tail. Ended up with a (surprise) rebar that I wrassled into shape. Laid down some welding beads on a chain to make it a continuation of the spine. Still not sure about the tip of the tail. All I know is it can’t be a blade. Because this guy is already faaar to xenomorph. An I ain’t making a god damn xenomorph! Too many scrap metal xenos in the world as it is.
It’s got chickenlegs!
By the Way, I showed some pictures to the local art union, and they told me I was a sick individual. Then I showed them some pictures of this thing, and they want it exhibited. So I’ve entered “Den Nordnorske Kunstutstilling” which is an annual art exhibition touring northern Norway. There will be two jury tryouts, the first using only pictures, the second one i have to bring this thing to the art union’s locales. That’s gonna be tough.
As we all know, biomechanical horrors have lots and lots of muscles with which to rip and tear. I’ve laid down a foundation of 2,5mm thick stainless Steel bands for delts, serratus and lats, still unsure if the end result will be metal plated, bundles of wire, or both. Now that the krapyl is going to the local beauty pageant, I had better make him all arty and stuff.
Meanwhile, in the lab, a manbaby is born.
Deciding whether to have hands, chainsaws or cannons at the end of one’s extremities is a hard choice we all have to decide upon as we come of age. Metal pauldrons, welding goggles and straw hats, however, are as certain as death and taxes.
Thighs and pecs filling out nicely. spot welding the steel bands to rebar is sometimes a pain in the ass, especially in those hard to reach spaces. I’ve disarmed the sculpture, as it is currently too large for transport. So both arms, the tail and probably the head has to be detachable. No prob.
Here comes the gist of the whole thingamajig. Our hero is holding a thing with a manbaby in his hand, and he has a human face. Ready, set, mind blown, check, mate and all underwear be soiled.
Just checking to see if Mr Grumpyface fits onto his prosthetic body. I modelled him out of Super Sculpey. Still unfinished, still unpainted. Thinking of removing the eyes and inserting LEDs, to give him that good old evil eye. Red lights, of course. Mr. Grumpyface also needs lots and lots of hoses, probes, gizmos and thingies as a soft transition between the human and the metal. At the moment, he sticks out like a clay face on a metal sculpture. It ain’t nice.
The three pictures above were sent to the jury, and they said it looked very… creative, then put it up on the fridge and told me to wash my hands. Now I’m in for the second jury evaluation. Twenty nine artists out of a hundred got this far. Will Mr Grumpyface and his friends go all the way to the top? Stay tuned.
Apparently, kit-bashing lots of shit into a super sculpey face makes it go all explodeous in the oven. Oh dear. It took me hours.
Mr Grumpyface had LED lights in the mouth, eyes and the (still visible) mechanical third-eye-dingus in his forehead. Well, can’t be helped. I’ve still got a few days left until the figure is sent off to exhibition, so I’ll make another one. Let’s all wave goodbye to Mr. Grumpyface. Also, the manbaby was shit, so I decided to redo his body.
Mr Grumpyface’s successor ain’t just angry. He’s downright disillusioned. No place for ambivalence in modern sculpture.
I decided to make Mr. Angryman a full head around a tin foil ball. I forewent the numerous LEDs, but I’ve still got a surprise in his mouth. Also, the techy metallic shit that connects him with the main machine looks a lot better and organized now (just take my word for it – I suck at documentation.)
Say hello to our new best friend – Manbaby Junior. Here shown in his natural habitat. Nice picture, btw. Thank you telephone. Matrix, you say? Well, at least it ain’t no god damn xenomorph.
Still unsure whether to have Manbaby lit from above or below. The toplit version is mighty artful, but from below, at least you get to see his happy dreamyface. I’m a fashion whore, so I’ll give him a soft colored light from one direction (or is it a soft African-American light? whatever sounds less racist.) I really hope he can be exhibited in a dark room, or else all this light play is going to be quite for naught.
Progenitor (still unfinished) and son captured in a tender velvet moment. Proper nurture should always be facilitated with an unambiguous look of disdain and disgust. Good thing I work in kindergarten, so I know these things. Note how in the earlier stage, he had a plastic hemisphere instead of an iron ball in his earhole. Sometimes I wonder, how could I live with myself?
Because things weren’t weird enough, I started making a wall of Manbaby nutrients. Going to mold them in silicone, perhaps put in some lights, and make them warm and jiggly.
The heart of the machine. I know it looks like a bunch of tubes and shit glued to a lamp cover. Because it is.
I have six days left to turn in the figure to the art union. Still lots to be done. The tension mounts.
Last night of mounting. The figure is to be delivered at 08:30 in the morning.
Mr. Angryman mounted through the magic of glue. Needless to say, it fell off during transport, and had to be reglued at the exhibition hall, while the jury was wathing.
The manbaby mounted with his freshly glued computer screens. Needless to say, the screens fell off during transport, and had to be reglued in the exhibition hall.
Homo Ex Machina fully assembled, with lights and stuff still not falling off. one hour before transport. The box on the base houses 20 kg of iron for balance, an underlight for the figure, and a power supply unit for the integrated lights.
Heart of the machine, looks a bit better fully mounted and lit.
Don’ glue and drive, Kids. You’ll end up like an idiot mounting your stuff while the jury’s watching. Post-mortem: jury didn’t like the hose, Heart, base and screens, so they get a trip to the funny-house for sculptural hasbeens. GOOD New is, the sculpture is pretty much guaranteed for Nordnorsken 2018!
THAR SHE BLOWS!
Got the priveliege to be the poster-child for the exhibition. That’ll do, pig.