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Filmed in 2011, David Altmejd discusses the head sculptures that he creates to accompany each new body of work. “Some sculptors make drawings, I make heads,” says Altmejd. By using the same materials found in his larger works, he distills his larger ideas into compact form. Works in the film are shown at the artist’s studio in Queens, and in his solo exhibition at Andrea Rosen Gallery in Manhattan.More information and credits
Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Jarred Alterman. Sound: Merce Williams. Editor: Morgan Riles & Mark Sutton. Artwork Courtesy: David Altmejd & Andrea Rosen Gallery. Theme Music: Peter Foley.
Art21 Exclusive is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; 21c Museum Hotel, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, and by individual contributors.
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With an almost childlike fascination for objects that grow, transform, and reshape themselves, David Altmejd creates sculptures, suffused with ornament, that blur distinctions between interior and exterior, surface and structure, representation and abstraction. Meaning, for Altmejd, does not exist in advance of the work in process. His interest lies in the making—the building of an object that will generate meaning. Using armatures in the forms of giants and angels that convey both human and supernatural energies, he abandons standard narrative conventions in favor of an exploration of materials, processes, and structures.
“I see the head as a sort of drawing. Some sculptors make drawings, I make heads.”