Carsten Höller, ‘Giraffe’, 2018, CFHILL

The natural-size yellow bi-resin giraffe calf which is being shown for the rst time at The Beautiful Escape, is Höllers most recent addition to a series of animal sculptures he began working on back in 1995, at a stage when he still had hopes of being able to combine both of his careers. Over the years, he has made a Delphin (Dolphin) (1995), an Elefant (Elephant) (1998), a Rhinoceros (2005), a Reindeer (2009), a Red Walrus (2011), and even a Snake (2013), and now, this naturalistic Giraffe (2018). The material is a rubber used in medicine, which is particularly suitable for highly detailed recreations of structures. It retains each irregularity, each miniscule fractal pattern of tissue on a snout, the sensitive skin of the belly, and the subtle wrinkles of the face. Touching the sculpture with your ngertips produces a sensation much like that of touching living skin. Sometimes, he adds whiskers, cloves, and tail hairs, as well as realistic glass eyeballs, originally intended for humans. These animals evoke emotions in the viewer that are amplified by the fact that the animals Höller has chosen to reproduce are all either new-borns or very old.

About Carsten Höller

Using his training as a scientist in his work as an artist, Carsten Höller's primary concerns relate to the nature of human perception and self-exploration. He has undertaken many projects that invite viewer participation and interaction while questioning human behavior, perception, and logic. His “laboratory of doubt,” embodied in objects ranging from carousels and slippery slides to upside-down goggles, often contains playful, hallucinatory or darkly humorous overtones in order to provoke experience and reflection. With his photographic prints of Ferris Wheels, merry-go-rounds, and roller coasters where the colors have been 'displaced' so as to create images that refuse to register; or his "flicker films" shot from multiple perspectives and projected sequentially to create a sense of movement; or a crop of magic mushrooms hanging upside-down from the ceiling, Höller aims to disorient and by doing so, stimulate precognitive moments of pure sensation.

Belgian, b. 1961, Brussels, Belgium, based in Stockholm, Sweden