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Realistic Yet Surreal: Sculpture by Matthew Dercole

A sculpture of some avocados filled with earthwormstwo and a half avocadoes in a generic white bowl with raised designs, stoneware, underglaze, polymer clay, ink, resin

Matthew Dercole is a ceramic artist and sculptor who works on a small scale, creating realistic yet surreal models of a wide range of subjects. Matthew has studied and honed his craft at institutions throughout the eastern United States, and is currently teaching at the Hartford Art School in West Hartford, Connecticut.

A sculpture of a cake slice with earthworms throughoutcake slice with white and blue icing on a white plate, ceramic, polymer clay, porcelain slip, ink, resin


I really enjoy the works in Matthew’s recent asexual appetite series. The objects in the series are as beautifully rendered as they are viscerally off-putting. Common food items ranging from a sheet cake to ice cream to avocados are lovingly sculpted, as filled with or composed entirely of earthworms. With each individual worm sculpted and painted in realistic detail, one can almost see the movement of the writhing mass of elongated shapes.

A screen capture of Matthew Dercole's art websiteThe front page of Matthew's website


In another portfolio gallery of figures and animals, Matthew combines the aforementioned subjects into novel and surreal assemblages, turning racoons and human busts into housing developments, or attaching masses of curly blonde hair to smooth ceramic sculptures.

A sculpture of a raccoon with a small house on its backtree house reminder #1 (surrogate lifestyles of the working class), ceramic, wool, polymer clay, glaze, ink

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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