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Artist Transforms Everyday Household Items Into a Host of Playful Characters

Household Surrealism by Helga Stentzel

For Russian-born, London-based visual artist Helga Stentzel, food and other household objects aren’t just common commodities. They have hidden personalities that are ready to be brought to life. Stentzel uses clothing, kitchen utensils, books, bread, and more to create a cast of colorful characters and silly scenes. Giving a glimpse into her creative mind, her series is aptly titled Household Surrealism.

From an adorable puppy made from a head of lettuce to a horse composed of laundry on a clothesline, Stentzel can turn pretty much any material into something entirely new. Each image is made by setting up the objects into the desired shape and pose. Stentzel then photographs the scene, and sometimes adds hand-drawn illustrations—such as eyes and mouths—for an extra touch of personality. In other works, the artist uses little pieces of paper and carefully chosen ingredients to create the illusion of facial features.

“My inspiration comes from day-to-day activities and also from staring at things for longer than socially acceptable,” Stentzel tells My Modern Met. “I can spend ages examining a slice of bread in a restaurant, for instance, to the annoyance of my family and friends.” She adds, “I also carry around a thick notebook where I jot down my ideas. Not all of them get properly photographed and retouched, but I really enjoy browsing them from time to time—it's like a bank of inspiration.”

Check out Stentzel’s playful arrangements below and find more from her portfolio on Instagram.

Helga Stentzel's Household Surrealism series turns everyday objects into creative characters.

Household Surrealism by Helga StentzelHousehold Surrealism by Helga Stentzel

Mundane objects are brought to life with clever compositions.

Household Surrealism by Helga StentzelHousehold Surrealism by Helga StentzelHousehold Surrealism by Helga StentzelHousehold Surrealism by Helga StentzelHousehold Surrealism by Helga StentzelHousehold Surrealism by Helga StentzelHousehold Surrealism by Helga StentzelHousehold Surrealism by Helga StentzelHelga Stentzel: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Helga Stentzel.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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