Patricia Puccinini

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It is true that the role of artists is to reflect society, but some artists do more than this. Patricia Piccinini is one artist who not only reflects current cultural and social ideas but presents us with things to think about to make us question our beliefs. Patricia Piccinini is a contemporary Australian artist whose main works are installations and sculptures and occasionally digital photography. She uses mixed media mainly consisting of fibreglass, plastic, human and animal hair to construct her works. What is unique about her art is that each has a hybrid creature which is often a combination of several animals or animals and humans. These creatures are of a science fiction or fantasy genre and she sets them in a realistic situation or location, thus juxtaposing what is real with the unreal. Alongside her hybrid creatures, Piccinini always places a model of a person or in the case of digital photography, a real person which also makes the hybrid creature stand out as the viewer cannot help but compare the real and natural looking with the unreal. Her works have many effects on the viewer. Some shock, some amuse but all of them catch our attention because they are unique and have a strong emotional impact on us. The first work which shows how artists reflect society is Piccinini installation called ‘The welcome Guest’ (2011). It is made of fibreglass, human and animal hair and cloth. It shows a large ground area which is like a white bumpy ice berg and on it is a half human half mythical creatures with large bone hands and fur patterns down it’s back. The creature is looking at a small child dressed in modern clothes. In the background a three male taxidermied peacocks.. Piccinini is reflecting the real world as her installation is showing man’s relationship with technoculture, in particular, the growth in genetic engineering and modification. She is suggesting that as technology improves, anything will be possible. The child is not afraid of this creature...
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