Patricia Piccinini (b. 1965) is one of Australia’s most important artists who has represented the country at the Venice Biennale in 2003. Her practice resides in the complex sphere of the real and hyperreal, the factual and speculative, and is mindfully engaged with a wide range of ideas from concepts of the uncanny to the advent of the cyborg, biopolitics and posthumanism. Based on a deep curiosity for the natural world, Piccinini’s wonder situates her practice at the frontier of some of the most pressing issues of the twenty-first century.
Renowned for her enigmatic sculptures that depict hybrid humanoid creatures, Piccinini has challenged frontiers of the hyperrealist tradition in sculpture. Working across an array of materials such as silicone, fibreglass and human hair, she creates surreal beings based upon genetic science developments and historical studies. Creatures with soulful brown eyes and long ears, scales, or webbed extremities, appear simultaneously captivating and endearing. Central to Piccinini’s practice are the dynamics between families and species, science and nature, art and the environment. Charting a terrain in which scientific progress and ethical questions are intertwined, her sculptures challenge audiences to question our relationship with the natural world, and ultimately what it means to be human today.
Credits: Patricia Piccinini, The Balance, 2019.
Artists: Patricia Piccinini