Wow. Check out this “frankensteined” self-portrait/resin bust by New York-based fine artist, Jaz Harold. She pieced it together from multiple casts—her face, the back of her head and ears, her neck and torso—and rotocast it hollow with a thick shell. It’s finished with thread, yarn, some plaster and quartz crystals. The piece’s name, Geode, is literal. Writes Harold: “A cracked open exterior reveals crystals inside.” Indeed. (I used to collect rocks.)
Harold’s recent works are generally soft (plush) and inviting (pastels), yet imbued with sexual undertones (and overtones).
She uses a technique called “chirimen” to create the elaborate hairstyles and accouterments in her work. Chirimen is a traditional Japanese weaving technique first developed about 500 years ago. (Interestingly, the fabric made by chirimen is also known as chirimen. Check out some wonderful faux food made by/of chirimen here.)
Soft sculpture is often a hard sell in the fine art world. But artists are doing increasingly provocative work with so-called “fluffy” materials. Harold expresses the difference between soft stuffing and soft covering as an aesthetic preference:
None of [my work] is stuffed, but everything is covered in fabric because I like how fabric absorbs the light. Fabric makes everything look softer. Even if you don’t touch it, it doesn’t have to feel soft but it just looks soft. I have a 5×7 foot piece on my wall that has boobs all over it, but they don’t seem sexual or perverted whatsoever. They are soft and cuddly.
Even a Hairless Kitten.
Currently, Harold is working on resin jewelry: “The first prototype is multicolored, pastel, soft-resin boobs with cherry blossom claps on the end.” Check out her online shop for cherry blossom pillows, mirrors and magnets here. Read an interview with Jaz Harold at MocoLoco here.