Don’t have a pet? Lee Sangsoo’s swirly sculptures are the next best thing

Cats, dogs, parrots and more; the artist’s work shows the awe-inspiring physicality of animals.

22 March 2023


Although known for his abstract portraits and grand scale murals, among Picasso’s lesser known works exist a whole array of animal sketches drawn with simple, minimal lines. It is these very drawings that inspired Lee Sangsoo, compelling him to create a series of works based on the parred back drawings. But, Lee has some different ideas for medium and presentation: “I wanted to reproduce them in a space rather than on canvas,” the Seoul-based artist details.

First, Lee sketches the general shape and “flow” of his piece in two-dimensional format in his sketchbook. Then, the sculptures are realised with differing thicknesses of metal piping which (very importantly) is square shaped. This square shape combined with the rounded, curved movements Lee creates not only builds a unique visual shape, it also allows for a more experimental and dynamic use of colour. In Lee’s rendition of a dachshund, for example, two sides have been painted in brown and two in black to create the effect of mottled fur, while his siamese cat’s gradient painted legs make the breed instantly recognisable. These sculptures may not fill the hole of a petless home, but they certainly come close.


Lee Sangsoo: Poodle (Copyright © Lee Sangsoo, 2022)


Lee Sangsoo: Pig (Copyright © Lee Sangsoo, 2022)


Lee Sangsoo: Mom & Siamese Cat (Copyright © Lee Sangsoo, 2022)


Lee Sangsoo: Love of Flamingos (Copyright © Lee Sangsoo, 2022)


Lee Sangsoo: Dachshund (Copyright © Lee Sangsoo, 2022)


Lee Sangsoo: Parrot (Copyright © Lee Sangsoo, 2022)


Lee Sangsoo: Stretching Cat (Copyright © Lee Sangsoo, 2022)


Lee Sangsoo: Rooster (Copyright © Lee Sangsoo, 2022)


Lee Sangsoo: Swan (Copyright © Lee Sangsoo, 2022)

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Lee Sangsoo: Siamese Cat (Copyright © Lee Sangsoo, 2022)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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