Sculpture Magazine: Object Lessons – Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby, Sculpture Magazine, March 1, 2021

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Demeter’s Doll (Cindy) joins Modern- ism with digital screen culture. The object was carved from the memory of a Hans Arp sculpture, before being dipped into a liquefied image of Cindy Crawford that I took from a 1997 swimwear calendar. The combi- nation invites parallels between a swimsuit on a supermodel and a surface on a sculpture— each form is idealized, and in each case, there is a mediating layer which both is and is not there. Like the watery form, swimwear points toward liquidity, something that fascinates me, both in concept and process.


Marble sculptures carved from a solid block are made by striking the surface with a chisel— my sculptures are physical creations, but they are also made in a digital realm, with the stroke of my fingers on a trackpad or the ma- nipulation of images on liquid crystal displays. It is a different kind of touch, and liquidity lurks in every part of the process. These dipped sculptures bring that full circle: the form and surface meet again when I immerse them through a suspended liquid surface.


Cindy Crawford epitomizes a particular type of 1990s female empowerment. I had these images on my wall as a boy—a queer boy. Demeter was a fertility goddess, so bringing her and Cindy together, 1960s sculpture with 1990s supermodel, joined behind a glossy reflective surface, speaks to a history of things that have fascinated and resisted me too.