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Cartoonish Americana: Sculpture by John Brickels


A sculpture of a brownstone buildingBrownstone 4

John Brickels specializes in stoneware clay sculpture, creating highly detailed miniatures of machines and buildings. Each of John’s sculptures is imbued with a lively sense of cartoonish Americana.

 

A wall-hanging sculpture of a mid-century cafeMel's Coffeeshop

 

I’m really a fan of John’s City Buildings series. These sculptures take the form of realistically detailed buildings, though each is distorted and twisted into delightfully playful proportions. Every crack in the brickwork and out-of-place shingle is rendered in a beautiful, slightly exaggerated. The artist’s Mid-Century Modern series takes the same style notes, translating them into wall-hangings of diners and car washes from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.

 

The front page of John Brickels' art websitewww.brickels.com

 

This slightly off-kilter aesthetic sense runs throughout John’s portfolio. The artist favors machines and machine parts, sculpting bizarre mechanical constructions that are then combined with found objects including metal dials and meters to create the appearance of objects that might serve some as-yet-unknown purpose. In his Vehicles series, John sculpts engine parts and wheel axels out of clay, then tops them off with rusted-covered, brightly painted automobile bodies. 

 

A sculpture of a Chrysler autobodyChrysler


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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