The Spice Skulls of Helen Atlman
Helen Altman looks at the world a little differently than most. Her art plays with common items and standard themes. Her “Artist’s Statement,” something I’ve come to quickly loathe since starting this blog, is as follows:
“Many of my works use commonplace materials and objects. I respond to readymade objects that are often discards or flawed in some obvious way. Alterations in these familiar things elevate them and draw parallels to our own human predicament.
I am also interested in mimics and replicas. It is a happy moment for me when I can create objects that are simultaneously convincing and yet blatantly absurd in their obvious artificiality.”
It is certainly not the worst Artist Statement I’ve seen so far. But it still holds that level of pretension and superficial air of importance I find annoying in such statements. Then again, it does actually do a decent job of explaining her work as a whole.
The art of her’s I’m currently interested in is her set of skulls made out of spices, bamboo, lemongrass, etc. They look deviously simple to make. But their overall impact is much more impressive. I’d love to have one of these hanging in my kitchen next to the spice rack!