Plain Bizarre: Surreal Sculpture by Matthew Dercole
Matthew Dercole is a sculptor who works in a variety of materials including polymer clay, resin, wood, ceramic, and fibre. The artist’s works often explore mundane or everyday objects and experiences through a skewed lens, creating sculpted images that are at sometimes surreal, sometimes disturbing, and sometimes plain bizarre.
I really like the mode of slightly stylized realism that Matthew works with in his sculptural practice. Matthew is quite skilled with animal, human, and inanimate subjects. In his recent Anatomy of... series, the artist takes disjointed and fragmented forms of livestock animals, grass, and human body parts, arranging them in odd wall-hanging configurations that force the viewer to observe the familiar in a completely unorthodox fashion. Removed from any expected context, these objects and parts take on a whole new visual meaning.
As we saw in our previous feature of Matthews realistic yet surreal sculptures, the artist is also adept at provoking more visceral reactions in his viewers. The motif of earthworms -- packed into tight spaces and glossy to suggest a realistic texture -- abounds throughout the artist's portfolio, infiltrating food and objects.