Realistically Carved Octopus Joins Together Two Pianos To Form One Surreal Sculpture

Third Octave by Maskull Lasserre

Artist Maskull Lasserre has transformed two pianos into one sculpture in this thrilling piece titled The Third Octave. Joined together by the tentacles of a realistically carved octopus, the work is a testament to the artist's willingness to take risks in order to see surprising outcomes.

It took about 2,000 hours to complete the work, with Lasserre never quite sure of the final outcome. “There is no manual or known approach for making something like this,” the artist tells My Modern Met.

“So much has to work, and work perfectly the first time. There is no place to hide in a carving—no way to fix a mistake or make up for missing material. I played the violin for many years before I transitioned to visual art. Making a piece like this is like improvising a recital or performance in real-time.”

Each piano has been carefully dissected, with strings and hammers spilling forth. Lasserre does such an exceptional job at joining the two instruments that, at first glance, it appears to be one stretched-out piano. Some music lovers may not be happy that the pianos were transformed in this way, and Lasserre was keenly aware that he needed to stretch his skills to elevate these already exceptional instruments into something new.

“It is interesting to transpose a musical instrument into a sculptural object, a transposition that sacrifices some expected potentials for other surprising ones,” he confesses. “I needed to carve something worthy of the ‘sacrifice' of two pianos, something that would reveal their value in a different currency—not sound, but thought, and visual intricacy. The beauty of the mechanism of the instrument, and anatomy of the Octopus was a resonance (to use a musical term) that I hope the sculpture captures.”

Take a closer look at how artist Maskull Lasserre joined two pianos with a wood-carved octopus.

Piano Carved Like an Octopus by Maskull Lasserre

Piano Carved Into a Sculpture by Maskull Lasserre

The sculpture took about 2,000 hours to complete.

Third Octave by Maskull Lasserre

Piano Carved Like an Octopus by Maskull Lasserre

To balance the work, he placed two books that speak of biology and philosophy. The texts have both a practical and metaphorical function.

Third Octave by Maskull Lasserre

“I hope people enjoy discovering the physical intricacy of how the octopus merges into—and appears out of—the architecture of the two pianos.”

Piano Carved Into a Sculpture by Maskull Lasserre

Piano Carved Like an Octopus by Maskull Lasserre

Maskull Lasserre: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Maskull Lasserre.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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