Sculpture: Papier-mâché animals

I have to admit that this is my absolute favorite piece that any of my students has ever made. What is genius about this sculpture is what was important to the artist: the head, the front legs and the tail. The body was obviously not a crucial element of the sculpture to the artist. It is almost foreshortened, simply a cylindrical mass with no character. The head of the dog, however, is enormous, a hyper large perfectly sculpted version of my own dog’s head. The tail of the dog is seemingly equally important to the artist. It is frozen in time, in mid-wag. Finally, the importance of the forelegs: my guide dog has a ritual when he is at the door of my classroom waiting for the harness to be put on. He always stretches, does a literal “downward dog”. The artist has captured this downward stretch of the forelegs immaculately.

The objective of this project was for students to sculpt an animal of their choice. The student was to create either an animal they had investigated by touch or by vision, or to make an animal according to what they thought the animal looked/felt like. The point was not to create an idealized animal, not to make what the students had been told a particular animal looked like.

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