Sculptor Randall Rosenthal specializes in turning single blocks of wood into intricately detailed sculptures of ordinary objects. Each piece is carefully and painstakingly whittled down from a solitary woodblock and meticulously painted to give the illusion of anything from a cardboard box full of money to a disheveled stack of comic books.
The artist’s collection of work boasts mind-boggling creations that are not only diligently carved and thoroughly painted, but also presented in visually realistic compositions. Whether it’s a messy pile of magazines, a worn deck of cards, or even a translucent envelope full of international currency, Rosenthal brilliantly simulates texture, tone, and form in every sculpture he carves and hand-paints.
As if the result wasn’t enough, Rosenthal also admits that he doesn’t work from a reference picture. Instead, the gifted sculptor manages to produce his impressive work on the fly. He says, “I don’t work from photos and mostly there is no model either. Generally they are made up in my minds eye and created in a reductive process, making it up as I go.” He adds, “My hope is they will seem real from a short distance [and] the fact that they are common objects helps in this regard. But on close inspection I don’t try and hide the fact they are wood.”