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5 Rising Sculptors Talk About What’s Next in 2016

If haven’t heard of Isaac Nichols, Daniel Arsham, Elizabeth Jaeger, Alex da Corte or Jamie Fitzpatrick yet, you definitely will this year.

Jamie Fitzpatrick, A Crown is Just a Hat that Lets the Rain In, 2016, Image courtesy of VITRINE gallery

Being only two months into 2016, we can't help but wonder what the next ten will hold. Whether consciously or not, artists have an acute insight of the current zeitgeist. Turning to five rising sculptors, we pondered their thoughts on trends and predictions. Each artist, with their own distinct style, is connected by the time and context of now. Creating an assemblage of aesthetics, there is an underlying thread of contemporary surrealism. From Alex da Corte's sets of graphic dreamworlds to Elizabeth Jaeger and Daniel Arsham's emotional and physical uncanniness of the life-sized human, to Isaac Nichols' and Jamie Fitzpatrick's theatrical bodies of comedic absurdism, together, through physical forms, they give the viewer a glimpse into their imagined world.


The Creators Project got a chance to talk to Isaac Nichols, Daniel Arsham, Elizabeth Jaeger, Alex da Corte and Jamie Fitzpatrick about their most recent work as they make leaps and strides into their medium.

Isaac Nichols (Grouppartner)

The Last Four Months of My Life, Image courtesy of the artist.

Isaac Nichols, a.k.a, Grouppartner has been making the Instagram-famed “boob pots” that are perfect for everything—especially plants. Entirely a self-taught potter, Nichols has been making ceramics out of his Greenpoint studio since 2013. Recently, Nichols has been making the long-awaited “boy-pots,” having focused on women’s torsos for so long.

The Creators Project: Do you have any big projects in the works this year?

Isaac Nichols: There's talk of designing a sequel to Elvis Guest House, just bigger. If that comes through it will be just about all that I'm doing for the next year. Other than that, I’m working on my novel.

What trends do you see happening in sculpture/ the art world?

Thankfully, as a culture, we are moving away from the Edison bulb, work boot, old-timey thing. I’ve also been seeing a lot of Memphis influence. As to the art world, my work directly comes out of a rejection of that place, culture, and identity. I was so sick of hearing the theory behind all this art that sucked to be around, was stressful and expensive to make… There's a lot of exposure being generated with Instagram and the internet, which is slightly leveling the playing field and is helping with creating another space for artists to communicate with their audience.


Daniel Arsham

Seated Female Figure, 2016, Image Courtesy of the Artist

Daniel Arsham is a conceptual artist known for stunning sculptures, his architecture firm, Snarkitecture, and his futuristic film series. He often works with an array of nature materials, from pulverized quartz, to volcano ash, to crushed glass. Most recently, he’s gearing up for a solo exhibition at the museum MAMO in Marseille, France.

Do you have any big projects in the works for this year?

I’ve lived in New York almost 20 years and I’ve never had an exhibition in New York. I’ve shown all over the world—on every continent except for Antarctica—but never in New York, so this year will be my first New York solo exhibition with Galerie Perrotin, coming up next fall.

What trends do you see happening in sculpture/ the art world/ world at large?

Trends… I don’t know if I pay so much attention to them. Ironically, I think that a lot of the work that I’m seeing that is trendy is work that is moving towards a black-and-white palette, which is essentially the pallette I’ve used for my entire career. I’m color blind, so up until now I wasn’t able to make work in color unless I was reading color off a tube of paint. Last year I received some specially made lenses that correct my color blindness, and I just debuted a project in St. Barths that show paintings that I’ve made in color.

Alex da Corte

As Is Wet Hoagie (With Borna Sammak), 2015, Image courtesy of the artist.

Alex da Corte is best known for his surreal sets, installations, videos, and sculptures that incorporate psychedelic colors to make graphic, and often humorous projects. In March, da Corte has his first solo museum show at the MASS MoCA that will cover 10 years of his work.


What trends do you see happening in sculpture/ the art world?

I would look at @piece_of_paper__ on Instagram to see the trends.

If you had to make one prediction for 2016, what would it be?

No sleep.

Elizabeth Jaeger

Maybe We Die So Love Doesn’t Have To, 2015, Image courtesy of Jack Hanley gallery

Elizabeth Jaeger is a young New York sculptor making an array of work in ceramics that explore the female form, eroticism, and the home in a breadth of ways, shapes and forms. She also runs the art books publisher, Peradam.

What is the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?

A show overseas with a vacation thereafter.

Do you have any big projects in the works for this year?

Yes, a cumbersome project with fragile elements that I haven't quite figured out how to fit into the kiln.

What trends do you see happening in sculpture/the art world/the world at large?

Sculpture is made with a front in mind, rather than in the round. There's always been a distinction between sculpture in the round and sculpture with a distinct front in mind, such as relief work, there's a growing trend of freestanding sculpture made for a stationary viewer—i.e., the camera—that is simultaneously in the round with a distinct front in mind. Unlike a relief work, these sculptures have a less considered backside that's additionally on view, like a theater set. Sculpture, while inherently three-dimensional, is now made with an unconsciously ingrained consideration of its future two-dimensional documentation—the future photo of the thing, rather than the thing itself. How we conceive of sculpture is being subtly altered by the increasing ubiquity of photography and it's effect on how we visualize ourselves and our reality.


If you had to make one prediction for 2016, what would it be?

I try not to have expectations.

Jamie Fitzpatrick

The Gentleman, 2016, Image courtesy of VITRINE gallery

Jamie Fitzpatrick is known for his high relief and highly colorful wax and foam figures. He has shown widely throughout the UK and is currently installing a show at VITRINE gallery in Bermondsey Square in London. This new show will be set up like a stage, where each sculpture is set up to move and interact with each other.

Do you have any big projects in the works for this year?

After the this current show at VITRINE, I'm working on an exhibition that has developed as an extension of the works I'm installing at the moment. My hope is that the sculptures will be acting out and moving along to an audio-piece that will come from them. The whole show is on a larger scale than the current work so it should give me the opportunity to work on a more ambitious scale with the works and play on and build up the theatricality of the sculptures.

What trends do you see emerging this year?

I've always been on the latter end of the curve when it comes to trends so I'm probably not the best person to ask… I don’t know, everyone will be making messy wax figures that move. It'll become all the rage, yeah, maybe that? If not that, folk have told me that fermenting vegetables and collecting VHS is going to be big this year… Maybe they already are and I'm just coming late to it.

If you had to make one prediction for 2016, what would it be?


Tottenham win the Premier League.

What sculptors are you looking at this year? Let us know @CreatorsProject and in the comments below.


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