Andrzej Szymczyk’s animal sculptures are eccentric artworks, suited to those fascinated by nature and the planet’s biodiversity. The artist’s decadent bronze Lion Fish appears alike to an aquatic sun, with its fins taking the form of fierce rays shining out of its body.
Sculptor Adam Warwick Hall is drawn to the ocean for its shapely inhabitants. Merging his love of animals and aerodynamics, the artist distorts shapes that are already obscure, creating abstracted ocean beings. Herringkel Mk III (1 of 12) in marbled blue is part whale, part plane, highlighting the mechanical movements of creatures gliding through their underwater universe.
The wooden sculptures of Cape Town based artist David Riding are created in a cartoon-like, two-dimensional style. In Toothpick an alligator sits on top of an elephant as a bird picks food from its teeth.
Throughout art history, animal sculptures have existed in different forms – from the dainty bronze horse statuette created by an unknown Greek artist in the first century B.C. to Germany’s giant bronze Brunswick Lion from the Middle ages that weighs 880kg. In contemporary art, artists still use size to make an impact. In the wake of the 1987 Black Monday stock market crash, Sicilian artist Arturo Di Modica turned up to Wall Street with his life-sized Charging Bull sculpture on the back of a truck and illegally left it outside the New York Stock Exchange. While the bull was supposed to be a symbol of resilience, to inspire New Yorkers to carry on despite the crash, the animal could also be read as a nod to a bullish financial system rampaging through the public’s lives.
While Di Modica wanted his animal sculpture to be life size to make an impact, for Louise Bourgeois, life-sized isn’t big enough. A spider motif is continuously repeated in her work as a symbol of the artist’s mother, who was a weaver. Some of her spiders exist in the form of small brooches, whilst she also produced giant works over 10m high. In her work Spider, the arachnid’s tiny body is supported by eight jointed legs that stretch out to occupy an entire room.