Evan Penny Hyper Realism Sculpture
Evan Penny hyper-realism sculpture created as a ‘portfolio’ piece presented to the producers of the film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. The intent was to prove the viability and opportunities in choosing prosthetics over CGI (computer generated imagery).
Silicone, pigment, hair, aluminum
9.75 in. x 10 in. Ex. Gord Smith – FXSmith / Billy Jamieson Collections
The sculpture originally came from special effects master Gordon Smith and his FXSMITH studio. He was perhaps best known for bringing the mutants from X-Men to life. His FXSMITH studio employed one of Canada’s top sculptors, Evan Penny. Smith retired at the height of his career and sold much of his works to Billy Jamieson – a locally famous dealer and collector of art, artifacts and oddities. The negotiation for the items is actually chronicled on episode three of Jamieson’s own reality show – ‘Treasure Trader’ on History Television.
Jamieson himself died of a heart attack in 2011 and his vast collections were sold by the estate to a select few dealers.
The sculpture comes with multiple photographic proofs of the piece marked as FXSMITH and the Stand the sculpture is on is also marked FXSMITH.
Evan Penny is a conceptually based figurative sculptor and photographer living and working in Toronto, Ontario. Born in South Africa in 1953, Penny immigrated to Canada in 1964. Penny has built an international reputation for his hyper-realist figurative sculptures that capture the Paradox of an unreal reality.
Employing traditional as well as contemporary sculpting methods, Penny molds figures out of clay and then casts his sculptures in resin, bronze or silicone. While his earlier works were largely cast in resin or bronze, Penny’s recent works have centered around busts or backs cast in silicone with resin eyes, implanted human hair, and custom-made clothing. Penny’s project at large over the past several years investigates the relationship of sculpture to photography and virtual technologies, and the ever-changing and unstable boundaries between reality and illusion With meticulous attention to detail and utmost technical precision, Evan Penny‘s sculptures portray human bodies in their true colours, with all their physiognomical features and individual characteristics.
His figures, executed with exceptional craftsmanship from layers of silicone and pigments, are hyperrealistic, unsparing portrayals of man which have a commanding presence and exude sensuality despite or maybe because of their pitilessness. And yet the artificiality of the sculptures is obvious. The use of alienation effects such as compression, stretching, twists, distortions or colour errors makes the works reminiscent of photography, TV or digital image processing. In this way he creates anamorphic sculptures that grow out of two-dimensionality, three-dimensional portraits which come across as faulty four-colour prints or distorted sculptures reaching into the fourth dimension of time.
When asked to describe his current working phase Evan Penny replied, “I try to situate my sculptures somewhere between two different ways of perceiving our- selves: perception in real time and space and perception in media images”.
In these intermediate worlds he creates hybrid beings who overwhelm the viewer by Virtue of the photographic precision of their surfaces and their physical penetration of our living space. They confront us with the deformations of the image of man in our media age. Every sculpture represents a materialized mental experiment that the artist himself describes as follows: “What would happen if I take a distortion of the human body that is “normalized” in an image context and that we might assume belongs exclusively to the image world, and bring that into the space we physically occupy?”
His works supply us with the answer: a strong emotional reaction full of abysmal horror and insatiable fascination.