Artist Mark Alsweiler creates folk-inspired figures out of salvaged materials and paints them in delicate pastel colours mixed in with punchy reds and blues. “I love old folk art and outsider art figures, so I was influenced by that type of naive work. Also I wanted to have a 3D element in one of my shows a few years back so reinterpreted the figures from my paintings into sculptures and they have grown from there,” explains Mark.
The artist’s figures are cute yet not twee, and the sculptures are a study in materials and the way they can be manipulated. “I use salvaged hardwood and carve away the main shape with a handsaw, hammer and chisel. Then I use an angle grinder to smooth everything off,” says Mark. “Recently they have turned into more assemblage pieces so I add extra parts with separate pieces of wood, glue it all together then sand them back, paint and varnish them.”
The challenge for Mark is getting proportions right. “They always come out looking different than you imagined once the shapes are cut out,” he explains. “Also if you make a mistake cutting or take too much material away you can’t get it back again so it can be a delicate process.”
With fine features and long limbs, Mark’s works are charming and showcase the capabilities of his chosen material. “I often work a lot around the many aspects of duality. So with the sculptures I try to contras hand-cut rough areas with the more smooth machine-made assemblage elements. Also I like the thought of making work that has a sense of positivity and humour to it.”
- Josephin Ritschel presents architecture and its surroundings as a stage for storytelling
- Gender, sexuality and male identity as seen through the lens of Jorge Perez Ortiz
- Gab Bois transforms things we’ve seen a thousand times into something spectacular
- Aysha Tengiz on her joyous, colourful and slightly depressing illustrated scenes
- Satellite photography, drawing tools and interactive logotypes feature in Double Click September
- Lego reveals first brand campaign in 30 years, Rebuild the World
- “All you see is lazy photography everywhere”: Martin Parr discusses his career, Brexit and obsession
- The work of Xiangyu Liu is weird and fantastically unpredictable (some NSFW)
- Caterina Bianchini Studio designs a dog-themed identity for a conveyer belt cheese restaurant
- Ikea invites people to “try on” Virgil Abloh furniture collection at LFW
- Hans Findling on his experimental and multidisciplinary approach to design
- Introducing the It’s Nice That Graduates of 2019!