Almost anything can become a cartoon when you give it eyes and legs. The same can be said for a chunk of ceramic or glass. Sweden-based artist Benjamin Uggla creates playful blob-like characters that have sprouted arms, legs, and eyes. While they possess an alien appearance, they are rendered doing a range of everyday human activities, like playing video games and using the computer, making them somehow relatable.
The series of sculptures originated in Uggla's sketchbook, when he wanted to make a bush come to life by giving it eyes and limbs. This idea eventually burst off the page, spurring numerous three-dimensional interpretations in clay. Though no longer plants, these characters still have an organic appearance about them, with thin arms and legs that shoot out of the bulbous bodies like gummy branches.
Uggla continued experimenting with his figures by translating them to glass next. This required several visits to The Glass Factory Boda in Småland, Sweden, where Uggla worked in collaboration with a team of experienced glassblowers. This partnership produced the next generation of sculptures that have that delicacy and shine of glass, but the heft of the original ceramic versions.
Whether in glass or ceramic, looking at Uggla's sculptures inspires a sense of joy. Not only are their colors vibrant, and sometimes accentuated by patterns, but each figure possesses a likable quality. We may not know what they are thinking, since they lack a mouth and eyebrows (and actual thoughts), but their passive faces and bendy bodies somehow encapsulate what it feels like going through an ordinary routine.
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