Thomas Houseago, ‘Masks (Pentagon)’, 2015, Public Art Fund

Image rights: Photo: Jason Wyche, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY Organized by Public Art Fund and Tishman Speyer

About Thomas Houseago

Thomas Houseago constructs giant anthropomorphic figures and heads that draw influence from sources as diverse as Pablo Picasso, Star Wars, William Blake, Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, and the Flintstones. Like Picasso, Houseago is fascinated by tribal art from Africa and the South Pacific, an influence evident in the primitivist mask-like heads and crude features of his disjointed figures. To create them, Houseago begins with a structure of iron rods, then adds materials such as plaster, hemp, and wood. Some of his works incorporate charcoal or graphite sketches of faces and anatomy on plaster and wood panels, producing an unfinished look that draws attention to the artist’s process. Perhaps his most famous sculpture, Baby (2010) is a monumental crouching figure whose hybrid form is characteristic of Houseago’s fusion of modernism with a contemporary deconstructivist aesthetic, challenging the boundaries between three-dimensionality and flatness.

British, b. 1972, Leeds, United Kingdom, based in Los Angeles, California