The Stags, (2009)
The Stags produced by Patricia Piccinini (2009), is a sculpture made from various materials and can be interpreted from many different angles. Patricia Piccinini is an artist who brings new perspective to the world, which few people see, as ‘we only see what we want to see’. The first question I asked myself, was how can something from Mother Nature, an animal so delicate and beautiful; be made from something man made and generic?
There is a vast amount of detail within this sculpture. Initially the artwork looks like rearranged motorcycles however, after more consideration there is a more definite arrangement of some kind of animal. I can see motorcycles arranged to make the shape of an animal such as a deer, or a snail. Although there are differences between those two creatures, there are elements of both demonstrated. The Straps is detailed but also simple in its composition. It has an appeal to the eye, attracting the viewer’s attention because of its strange yet interesting composition. It has detail of texture and uses elements of a motorcycle to form the sculpture. The foreground and background are not as easy to identify on a sculpture, and it changes with every angle that the sculpture is viewed from. There is a lot of detail used to create this composition. The angle of the lights and the reflection from the shine of the motorcycle impact on the way the composition is conveyed. The clever use of two motorcycles is what ‘jumps out at me’. Once you realise what the formation of the composition is, you cannot help but try to interpret and find a story within the composition. This composition reflects the artist’s knowledge of motorcycles and animal anatomy, showing the wonders of how the artist can create something puzzling and exciting, that from a distance looks like twisted motorcycles arranged in some random formation. The sculpture has a light mood perhaps because of the reflection of light. Although seemingly complicated the composition is simple and ‘feels so free’. The proportion and size of the objects appear accurate however; the arrangement of motorcycles into a form of animal also makes it look freaky and altered through the angle. The attention to detail gives more definition to the features.
The materials and equipment used to create this sculpture include fibreglass, automotive paint, plastic, stainless steel, leather and rubber tyres. The sculpture is arranged to portray motorcycles like a form of animal. The shine of the automotive paint also affects the mood and impact on the viewer of the sculpture. The shapes and objects used are not out of proportion; however, they are peculiar because the artist has used motorcycles to portray animals. Despite this composition from unusual materials, the objects still create the impression of animals. The objects used to create the sculpture, do not seem out of place nor out of the ordinary. Techniques used are manipulation of the general formation of a motorcycle and trickery of the eye. The viewer has to look past the motorcycle and see the formation of two animals. The reflective surface, light and different angles help give definition and reality to the composition. The smooth shapes and weird formation influence the composition adding mood and depth; it gives a sense of nature depending on how you look at it.
The message Patricia Piccinini portrays in The Stags appears obvious but is reflected through the materials used. There is a connection between everything in life, but how does something in Mother Nature have a connection to something manmade? The title reveals that the animals in the sculpture are ‘Stags’ – red male deer’s. The red automotive paint reflects the red colour of the deer’s, and the manipulation of the motorcycle and materials forms the shape of the two male deer’s, such as the antlers made from motorcycle mirrors. The arrangement of the deer’s could mean multiple things, they could be fighting with one deer holding down the other and the other nipping its leg, they could be embracing or grooming one another. The different angles and interpretations would all be correct, as art is what you interpret from the piece. Sometimes we lose ourselves in life, and sometimes we need to focus on the beauty of life. Male deer’s have to fight for survival; they live amongst the beauty of life. The sculpture expresses the greatness and the beauty of Mother Nature, whilst also finding the connection between manmade products like the motorcycle. Even though the world is a huge place, there is always a connection between everything, whether it is obvious or not. Life is beautiful and we should embrace it for what it is. Take the chance; make the most of opportunities presented to you. If you interpret the sculpture as the deer’s fighting, you also get the impression that we as humans also fight. People fight with the people they love, maybe not physically but we continue to argue to grow, learn and change. This sculpture expresses the beauty of Mother Nature, whether the deer’s are fighting or being compassionate towards one another, it is beautiful. The materials reflect the beauty of Mother Nature through the reflection of light, the shape and the formation. The deer’s faces express many emotions that the viewer is left to interpret. Patricia Piccinini wants us to interpret what she is conveying; it is a mystery, just like life itself. If you just believe in who you are and what you can achieve, you can be see the beauty in anything, our purpose is to find that connection and embrace life. Even if the Stags are fighting, there is still a sense of sincerity and kindness demonstrating the beauty of life; it is there, you just have to find it. Around every corner, there is something new, something beautiful. Take a step back and look at this composition, it reflects Mother Nature, and has found the connection with manmade products. Although The Stags seems bizarre, its composition works well, allowing the viewer to interpret what they will.
From analysing The Straps, you can appreciate it for what it is, and what it could be. Who would have thought a motorcycle could be manipulated to reflect two animals in nature? Everything has its purpose in life. How can a motorcycle become an animal? Interpreting and judging The Straps, allows the viewer to see the effort the artist has made to take two completely different objects and ideas to create a remarkable sculpture. It made me realise that being creative and maybe a little different is not a bad thing; making something from other things helps you make the most of everything in life. Making mistakes helps you to learn and art always has a deeper meaning than what is just on the outside, or viewed from different angles in a different light. There is obviously a reason behind the choice of materials and formation used, and it is our purpose to interpret what we will from this composition. The Straps is an extraordinary piece of artwork. From first glance, I did not understand why the artist had manipulated two motorcycles to make a sculpture of two animals. After looking for the deeper meaning, I began to understand why the composition was arranged and why the artist chose the materials, she chose. It is not a sculpture, which I would rave about or display in my house, but I like how it is a reflection of true art. Some people say that anything can be art, but I believe if you can make something beautiful out of something generic, so obliged to one purpose in society then it can be considered art, whether or not anyone else agrees. Because after all, art is what we interpret something to be, we make the most of what we see and do. The Straps is a reality check, it portrays how being unique and making the most out of something is what art and more importantly life is about. If you look closely enough you will see it, you will understand it. My interpretation could be entirely wrong, but art is about what you make of it in some sense, if it inspires you, then do not judge. The manipulation of a basic motorcycle into an animal shows the beauty of nature and life, how something manmade reflects upon Mother Nature. On the outside this piece looks weird and wacky, but it is unique for that very reason; and this makes it art. My opinion has changed because now I understand there is a connection to Mother Nature and something manmade.
Patricia Piccinini is not just an artist, she is an inspiration. Anyone can interpret The Stags, it seems there is no hidden message, as the title offers all the information needed; however, there is still a connection between the composition and the formation of two things, completely different from one another. The artist offers perspective on the world; few of us see the possibilities of. We see through the eyes of what we want to see. If a composition of deers from motorcycles can inspire someone to consider life from a different point of view, and see the connections between the little things life, then what can humanity achieve. MC Escher once said, “What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness, I don't use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.”People’s dreams can take them anywhere. Life must be experienced; every aspect and all angles of life should be explored. From first glance, manipulated motorcycles into deer’s, seemed so easy to interpret but really life is more deep than I ever thought possible.