Alan Fears’ series of papier mâché heads, called The Followers, is a humorous exploration of perception and human behaviour. “In my mind, when I visualise a group of followers, I see a mixed bag of stereotypes, a sea of gormless faces waiting vacantly for a cue or command,” explains Alan. “They’re not real people, yet the longer you look at a random selection of beings the more they become individuals, personalities.”
Alan has depicted everyday faces and a variety of characters, like a blonde, bearded man with a unibrow and a cheesy guy wearing an I Heart Life hat. Despite these seemingly exaggerated characteristics, the artist feels the viewer will start to “search for themselves in the crowd”. He adds: “That may in fact be the true reason why some of us chose to follow each other in the first place.”
The textured and brightly coloured sculptures also call out our tendency to judge. We don’t know anything about these floating heads, yet it’s hard not to try and patch together a story for each one. It’s a recurring theme in Alan’s work as a whole. “I try to remind myself, and everybody else, how great and stupid humans can be and therefore how great and stupid life can be.”
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