Pretty Ugly: Jonathan Payne
sculptures are the kind you can’t look away from, which is not exactly surprising as the Californian artist has worked under sculptors like Simon Lee, John Brown and Jordu Schell. The sculptures are enough to give you the heebie jeebies, with his most jaw dropping works in his Fleshlettes collection. The abstract sculptures are made from oil, polymer, clay, acrylic and animal hair. And, you know, the human kind. We all have flaws of some sort. Some are better at disguising theirs than others, but on a whole we try to keep that side of us a secret. Not Jonathan. He exposes our grotesque nature through his art. Each piece of his Fleshlettes sculptures has a name and a character description. If you look long enough you might just find yourself in one of these sculptures, though possibly in exaggerated form. Perhaps the most popular work in the series is Jacquline – Jonathan describes her someone that “always aims to please. She'll do the book report for that hot guy that sits next to her Chemistry and she always offers to be the designated driver at parties. Someday a prince charming will see past the veneer of her being an all-fingers Fleshlette mutation. But until that fateful day, she will always be a wistful dreamer.” But, worry not – not all his sculptures are as grotesque! He has plenty of works easier on the eyes. What links all of his works together is the intricate detail in the carving, as well as the character each of his sculptures has. Pretty or ugly, it all boils down to the story they tell.