In Immersed Birds, a series of minimalist and modern wooden sculptures, Mexican designer Moisés Hernández explores the polychromatic plumage of tropical birds. To achieve the brilliant tones of each bird’s feathers, Hernández employs a dip-dying technique. This experimental method of painting culminates in one-of-a-kind, contrasting layers of color.
Immersed Birds presents 3 dazzling species native to Mexico: the toucan, hummingbird, and Mexican quetzal. Interested in their “glowing chromatic range,” the artist reinterprets the stunning hues of their feathers through a process of dip-dying. By strategically immersing the sculptures in colored water, Hernández is able to “achieve an interesting texture of intersections and transparency made by layers of color.” Furthermore, by varying the amount of time various parts of each bird spend submerged in the water, he is able to control the saturation of each consecutive coating. When dipped for a long period of time, the layers are dark and nearly opaque. Contrarily, when left in for a short stint, they are so see-through that the wood grain is visible.
In addition to the birds’ colorful coats, the series also explores their unique forms. Crafted from wood and composed of smooth curves, the sculptures showcase the distinctive shape of each creature. From the toucan’s large bill to the hummingbird’s thin beak, the animals’ key characteristics are present.
Besides the delightful diversity of the birds’ plumage, Hernández’s Immersed Birds series also explores the inherent push-and-pull between machine-made and hand-crafted objects. The artist creates each sculpture using CNC (computer numerical control) technology, which allows him to skillfully achieve any form he desires. When contrasted with Hernández’s hands-on method of painting, this mechanized approach to sculpting gives the avant-garde figures a fascinating duality.