Slideshow: a preview of the gorgeously grotesque David Altmejd exhibition at the MOCCA
David Altmejd is a modern Dr. Frankenstein, constructing giants and golems so ugly they circle back to beautiful: his creatures have quartz horns, matted hair, and rotting torsos that spew mannequin hands and silk flowers. It’s a fitting oeuvre for Altmejd, who once planned to be an evolutionary biologist: he envisions the life that can grow out of decay.
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Altmejd was born in Montreal and moved to New York in the late ’90s to study art at Columbia. His big moment came in 2007, when he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale alongside icons like Tracey Emin and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. His pavilion, an enchanted aviary, launched Altmejd into art-world superstardom: the Guggenheim and Whitney museums own his work, as do a clique of varsity-level collectors, including Greek Cypriot industrialist Dakis Joannou and American newspaper mogul Peter Brant. This month, Altmejd’s 2008 work The Holes—a gargantuan werewolf lying lifeless in a crystal garden—will appear at MOCCA, part of a larger exhibition devoted to neo-baroque sculpture. Like all of Altmejd’s art, it’s at once alien and familiar. Here, a look at some of his most mesmerizing creations.
By David Altmejd
Feb. 8 to April 4