Home / Art / SculptureRotten Fruit Reimagined as Massive Sculptures Covered in Glittering Semi-Precious Stones

Rotten Fruit Reimagined as Massive Sculptures Covered in Glittering Semi-Precious Stones

Beaded Art by Kathleen Ryan

“Soft Spot,” 2019
Amber, amethyst, rhodonite, rose quartz, serpentine, tree agate, jungle jasper, smokey quartz, garnet, agate, turquoise, olive jade, bone, pink lepidonite, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene
Image courtesy Josh Lilley, London

Artist Kathleen Ryan reimagines rotten fruit in a collection of grotesque-yet-gorgeous sculptures. The pieces, carved from foam and ranging between one and three feet in diameter, depict lemons, oranges, peaches, and pears in the midst of decay—a fact indicated by her use of glittering semi-precious stones. The tiny materials are used like dabs of pigment in a Pointillist-style painting, and blue-green gems, dark orange baubles, and white stones mimic the mold we might find in a neglected fruit bowl. And as if there was any other doubt, Ryan has aptly titled her series Bad Fruit.

Ryan’s subject matter is in contrast to the materials she uses in her sculptures. Many of us would discard a piece of rotten fruit without a second thought. But with the addition of gems like iridescent opals, freshwater pearls, and moss agate, we look at the peaches and oranges in a different light—as objects with incredible value. Ryan’s work relishes in the cognitive dissonance that occurs. “The sculptures are beautiful and pleasurable, but there’s an ugliness and unease that comes with them,” she says.

A portion of Bad Fruit will be on display in a giant fruit bowl sculpture at Art Basel Miami Beach. Scroll down to view the opulent sculptures and then follow Ryan on Instagram to see what she’s working on next.

Kathleen Ryan reimagines rotten fruit as beaded art sculptures that use a variety of semiprecious stones.

Kathleen Ryan Moldy Fruit

“Semi-Precious Bone,” 2018
Freshwater pearls, carved bone, serpentine, sesame jasper, fire agate, kiwi jasper, marble, amazonite, onyx, glass and steel pins on plastic-coated foam
Image courtesy Josh Lilley, London

Kathleen Ryan Moldy Fruit

“Sour Pearls,” 2018
Amazonite, serpentine, jadeite, malachite, tiger eye, sesame jasper, tree agate, onyx, marble, moss agate, Ching Hai jade, fire agate, chrysoprase, nephrite, kiwi jasper, lava stone, freshwater pearl, carved bone, glass and steel pins on plastic-coated foam
Image courtesy Josh Lilley, London

Bead Fruit Art by Kathleen Ryan

“Fool’s Mold,” 2018
Agate, malachite, pyrite, green fluorite, emerald, tiger eye, smokey quartz, garnet, Russian serpentine, chrysoprase, obsidian, prehnite, ching hai jade, marble, onyx, jadeite, kiwi jasper, tree agate, sesame jasper, aventurine, moss agate, nephrite, amazonite, yellow turquoise, lava stone, carved bone, glass and steel pins on plastic-coated foam
Image courtesy Josh Lilley, London

Bead Fruit Art by Kathleen Ryan

“Pixie Bones,” 2018
Bone, serpentine, malachite, jadeite, labradorite, tree agate, lapis lazuli, unakite, amazonite, rose quartz, quartz, Russian serpentine, turquoise, magnesite, black silkstone, onyx, sesame jasper, lava stone, agate, aventurine, ruby in zoisite, rhodonite, jasper, glass, steel pins, on coated polystyrene
Image courtesy Josh Lilley, London

Bead Fruit Art by Kathleen Ryan

“Bad Satsuma,” 2018
Freshwater pearl, jadeite, labradorite, tree agate, lodolite, lapis lazuli, serpentine, unakite, amazonite, malachite, rose quartz, quartz, black silkstone, Russian serpentine, turquoise, tigereye, sesame jasper, magnesite, onyx, lava stone, agate, aventurine, ruby in zoisite, rhodonite, jasper, bone, glass, steel pins, on coated polystyrene
Image courtesy Josh Lilley, London

Beaded Art by Kathleen Ryan

“Serpentine Flurry, 2019,” 2019
Serpentine, onyx, quartz, rose quartz, rhodonite, jasper, unakite, smokey quartz, amazonite, sesame jasper, olive jade, fluorite, lodolite, amethyst, tree agate, Ching Hai jade, lapis lazuli, agate, Russian serpentine, marble, ruby in zoisite, abalone shell, bone, coral, freshwater pearl, petrified wood, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene
Image courtesy Josh Lilley, London

Bead Fruit Art by Kathleen Ryan

“Serpentine Foam, 2019,” 2019
Serpentine, smokey quartz, aventurine, Ching Hai jade, agate, marble, amazonite, magnesite, calcite, onyx, tree agate, carnelian, quartz, garnet, bone, fish vertebrae, sponge coral, steel pins on coated polystyrene
Image courtesy Josh Lilley, London

Beaded Art by Kathleen Ryan

“Emerald City,” 2019
Amazonite, onyx, quartz, rose quartz, turquoise, emerald, jasper, serpentine, smokey quartz, olive jade, fluorite, amethyst, tree agate, Ching Hai jade, lapis lazuli, agate, Russian serpentine, marble, ruby in zoisite, abalone shell, bone, coral, freshwater pearl, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene
Image courtesy Josh Lilley, London

Fruit Sculpture Art by Kathleen Ryan

“Black Lemon, 2019,” 2019
Obsidian, black onyx, agate, turquoise, pyrite, tiger eye, jasper, smokey quartz, tektite, lapis lazuli, aventurine, amazonite, glass and steel pins on coated polystyrene
Image courtesy Josh Lilley, London

Kathleen Ryan: Website | Instagram 

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Kathleen Ryan. 

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