The sculptures of Monica Piloni
Brazilian artist Monica Piloni distorts the human and animal body through dismemberment, the omission or multiplication of elements, which not only generate an unsettling and unnatural form, but also enrich the work with an often morbid appearance, combined with erotic cliches, adding a new meaning with emphasis on identity, sexuality, the limits and aspects that lead to alienation.
In some sculptures as in her recent ‘Shadow Ballerina’, the body is perfectly defined, the upside down position and the suspended posture suggest perhaps a fall, an ideal turned against its seeker, the dark skin and empty eyes contributing to the ambiguity of the work, while at the same time guiding the viewer towards questioning the role of the female figure and her absurd condition. In other cases, the artist chooses to turn the body into an object – for instance, a faceless long haired and triple-legged doll sculpture – or induce a sexual tension, distorted nudes that both shock and appeal. Hair is recurrent in the works of Monica Piloni, it is a gender indicator and is sometimes used to hide and replace certain features, as a mask.
From a conceptual point of view, there are several unexpected juxtapositions – a nude figure seated on golden crutches in absolute equilibrium, or a horse strongly yet vainly opposing its identical half body part. And it is a sense of continuous struggle and loss, of captivity in one’s own passion experienced as failed goal, manifested as obsession and felt as a burden, and a forced silence due to the physical mutilation and a visually haunting lack – no mouth to speak, no gaze to meet.
‘Shadow Ballerina’, 2015, fiberglass, synthetic hair, chrome steel balls, tutu, 222x95x100 cm
‘Portrait a, Portrait b, Portrait c, Portrait d, Portrait e’, 2013, resin, synthetic hair, velvet, 20x15x15 cm
‘Albino’, Illegals series, 2010, resin, synthetic hair, 76x28x28 cm
‘Impar’, 2008, glass fiber, hair, crutches, 180x96x96cm
‘Couple’, 2006, bronze, 60x72x30 cm
‘16B’, Jacaranda box, lens and video, 25x25x25 cm
All images © Monica Piloni