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Grotesque Cartoon Aesthetic: Sculptures by Paolo Del Toro

A felt sculpture of a contorted faceBaba of the Woods, felt sculpture

Paolo Del Toro is a sculptor and two-dimensional artist based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Del Toro’s felt sculptures combine realism with a grotesque cartoon aesthetic, resulting in works that depict bizarre, sometimes nightmarish faces and figures, yet still have a strangely inviting texture.


A felted wool sculpture of a face with wide eyesThe Other World Becomes Visible, coloured wool

I’m really impressed by the fine detail that Del Toro is able to get out of the felt medium. From far away, his sculptures look like they could just as easily be made with ceramic or stone. The artist has also worked in wood, and it’s really interesting to be able to see the similarities between the two mediums in the artist’s portfolio. With some finished works, the artist documents the sculpture outdoors, placing it among the trees as though it were a magical woodland creature.


Del Toro also delves into two-dimensional illustrations, many of which mimic the aesthetic of his sculptures while managing to feel a lot cuter and friendlier. The illustrations are often a slightly surreal take on ordinary scenes, though some of them veer into more dream-like territory. 

An illustration of a woman drawing a picture of a catUntitled, illustration

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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