We at TAE recently discovered an artist that will make you question everything. Sculptor Christopher David White will mess with your brain in the best possible way. His style of illusion will make you believe his sculptures aren’t only hyper realistic, but also that they’re made of wood. Alas, they’re not!
Yes, you read right. What seem to be sculptures made of petrified wood are actually figures he meticulously shaped out of – you’d never guess – ceramic! His fantastic pieces are so amazingly real-looking that you probably wouldn’t believe he fashioned them out of clay. Everything seems so genuine, but he uses modeling, molding, and casting, among other hand-construction methods, to create incredibly realistic textures of wood and cardboard.
The artist, born in Bedford, Indiana, is now based in Virginia. On his website, he writes, “Change is a constant reminder that permanence is the ultimate illusion.” And very much so! His pieces focus and explore the relationship between humans and nature, resembling things that seem to be in the process of decomposition.
“It is through the creation of hyper-realistic sculpture that I explore the relationship between nature, man, and the phenomenon of impermanence,” he writes. “I seek to expose the beauty that often results from decay while, at the same time, making my viewer question their own perception of the world around them.”
In an interview with Bored Panda, he discussed the reason he used these materials. “I am drawn to clay because of its innate ability to mimic a myriad of textures,” he explained. “It is a soft and malleable material that can be fired and made hard as rock once I am finished with modeling, but at the same time, it is an incredibly fragile material.”
He also explained his process. “To create the wood texture, there is a layering and repetition of mark that I find deeply satisfying,” he said. And then, he revealed, “I use x-acto knives, wire brushes that I design specifically for a certain texture.”
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Images used were photographed by Marta Finkelstein: