Beth Cavener Stichter’s (Hi-Fructose Vol. 26 cover artist) sculptures have an intensely-visceral quality. The ceramic animals she hand-builds demonstrate an human-like sense of understanding with their sensitive gazes and anthropomorphic eyes. But despite their thoughtful countenances, these characters are also perfectly at home in their animal skins. Cavener Stichter’s work does not shy away from the brutality of the animal world, from its untamed sexuality to its endless cycle of predator and prey.
She recently collaborated with Italian artist Alessandro Gallo (previously featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 24), who embellished her latest sculpture, Tangled Up in You, with painted tattoos reminiscent of traditional Japanese tattoo art. The 65-inch-tall sculpture (15 feet total, from the top knot of the rope to the floor) shows a lanky rabbit intertwined with a snake in mid-air. It is unclear whether the two figures are caught in a struggle to the death or a passionate embrace. Tangled Up in You is currently on view at the Milwaukee Museum of Art. Take a look at some detail shots of the elaborate piece as well as some photos of Cavener Stichter in her studio.
"N.N. (Ningún Nombre) brings to light the thousands of murders that scarred South America in the implementation of Operation Condor during the 1970s and 80s. Isolated under a spotlight, I sew over the faces of victims from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. To the right of me, unsewn images are neatly stacked and labeled according to their country of origin. Methodically, I retrieve individuals from this pile and sew over their faces. Once each person is covered in white cloth, I let the sewn image fall to the floor. As the installation proceeds, this second pile accumulates into a heap of indistinguishable victims." - Mandy Cano Villalobos.