Johannesburg-based artist Regardt van der Meulen continues to explore and exhibit the inherent fragility of the human body through steel sculptures in a series titled Deconstructed. Much like his past pieces that appear to drip and unravel, his latest collection of fractured forms presents a haunting yet beautiful look at mortality.
Aptly titled Weathered, I Am Just The Pieces, Fragmented, and Ephemeral, his most recent works of art further comment on the inevitable decay and degradation of all human beings. Van der Meulen conveys this idea in several conceptually different yet stylistically sound ways.
In Weathered, a person appears to be falling apart before our eyes; the figure’s flesh has seemingly turned to leaves, which are being calmly carried off by a breeze. In both I am Just The Pieces and Fragmented, the standing form’s body is mysteriously marred with numerous punctures, holes, and gaps. And, in Ephemeral, the subject’s skin is decomposing as roses inexplicably bloom from within its body.
See Regardt van der Meulen’s recent collection of Deconstructed sculptures below.
As prevalent as bodily deterioration is within the portfolio of van der Meulen, it is not the only idea his startling sculptural works represent. Within his practice exists an innate irony. The artist uses steel—”a medium which is usually associated with the impression of unmoving strength”—to craft each creation; which, contrarily, conveys the delicate and breakable nature of one’s body and, as the artist’s notes, inner self.
“The sculptures are metaphors for not only the vulnerability of one’s physical body but also one’s emotional and mental state,” the artist explains. “I sculpted each figure in a way that creates the notion that they are incomplete, melting or being pulled apart, deconstructed by a force either from within or without.”