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Plain Bizarre: Surreal Sculpture by Matthew Dercole

A wall-hanging sculpture using elements of livestock animals and plantsanatomy of self medication (strategy number 1), ceramic, wood, plastic grass, polymer clay, glaze, glass, ink, resin, underglaze

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

A wall-hanging sculptural piece with imitation grassanatomy of self defense (strategy number 1), porcelain, plastic grass, wood, polymer clay, ink


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. 

A screen capture of Matthew Dercole's art websiteMatthew's art website,


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.

A sculpture of a hotdog bun filled with wormshot dog, ceramic, polymer clay, underglaze, ink, resin

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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