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April 19, 2012


Filed under: peter shelton — Tags: — jherzlinger @ 12:27 pm

I was in a friend’s apratment in Los Angeles last week and saw a piece of sculpture that was super interesting and an artist I was not familiar with, which leads me to today’s post!

Have a wonderful day!


Inside an expansive East L.A. studio, a collection of creatures is undergoing a transformation. One is a giant unbaked loaf of white plaster, sanded into smooth curves; another has taken on a yellowish-brown coating, a sealant; a third is covered by thick sheets of red wax. All are headless and rotund yet seem — with their crouched, perched, lolling torsos — to be quite playful. Soon, they will be trucked to a foundry to be cast in bronze.

“I don’t tend to work from obvious narrative or rhetoric,” says Shelton, 58. “I’d say my work is somewhere between abstract and recognizable. The main thing is to convey a sense of something animated.”

Shelton is a graduate of UCLA(1979), and throughout his career the artist has continued to allude to the body in a non-overt way, willingly opposing his post-modern academic background

that was often saturated in an anti-figurative attitude.

he works primarily, though not exclusively, with the human figure. He works at it from the outside and from within, showing us what is recognizably our anatomy. But Shelton is no literalist.

His vision takes the literal anatomy and makes it his own…

Shelton’s work taps into most deeply, confronting us with dream–or nightmare–visions of what it means to be a physical being in the world. That he asks us, eye and mind, at the same time,

to join in the play of paradoxical relationships between weight and lightness, inner and outer, space and volume adds to the rich texture of associations he engages. The word “avoirdupois”

comes pleasurably to mind. We experience a kind of gravity, in both the physical and the metaphorical sense, a heaviness of actual weight combined with a lightness of being. The work asks us to

take measure of our own weight and height as we stand in its vicinity; and it manages to be somehow alarmingly monumental and almost painfully intimate at the same time. It intrudes itself upon

our physical as well as on our psychic space and leaves us, yes, more fully aware of what it is to be a human being.

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