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Artist Continues to Create Fractured Sculptures that Eerily Explore Mortality

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures weathered

Johannesburg-based artist Regardt van der Meulen continues to explore and exhibit the inherent fragility of the human body through steel sculptures in a series titled Deconstructed. Much like his past pieces that appear to drip and unravel, his latest collection of fractured forms presents a haunting yet beautiful look at mortality.

Aptly titled Weathered, I Am Just The PiecesFragmented, and Ephemeral, his most recent works of art further comment on the inevitable decay and degradation of all human beings. Van der Meulen conveys this idea in several conceptually different yet stylistically sound ways.

In Weathered, a person appears to be falling apart before our eyes; the figure's flesh has seemingly turned to leaves, which are being calmly carried off by a breeze. In both I am Just The Pieces and Fragmented, the standing form's body is mysteriously marred with numerous punctures, holes, and gaps. And, in Ephemeral, the subject's skin is decomposing as roses inexplicably bloom from within its body.

See Regardt van der Meulen's recent collection of Deconstructed sculptures below.

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures weathered

“Weathered”

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures weathered

“Weathered” (detail)

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures weathered

“Weathered” (detail)

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures i am just the pieces

“I Am Just the Pieces”

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures i am just the pieces

“I Am Just the Pieces” (different angle)

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures fractured

“Fragmented”

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures fractured

“Fragmented” (different angle)

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures fractured

“Fragmented” (detail)

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures ephemeral

“Ephemeral”

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures ephemeral

“Ephemeral” (detail)

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures ephemeral

“Ephemeral” (detail)

regardt van der meulen deconstructed sculptures ephemeral

“Ephemeral” (detail)

As prevalent as bodily deterioration is within the portfolio of van der Meulen, it is not the only idea his startling sculptural works represent. Within his practice exists an innate irony. The artist uses steel—”a medium which is usually associated with the impression of unmoving strength”—to craft each creation; which, contrarily, conveys the delicate and breakable nature of one's body and, as the artist's notes, inner self.

“The sculptures are metaphors for not only the vulnerability of one's physical body but also one's emotional and mental state,” the artist explains. “I sculpted each figure in a way that creates the notion that they are incomplete, melting or being pulled apart, deconstructed by a force either from within or without.”

Regardt van der Meulen: Website | Facebook | Instagram

All images via Regardt van der Meulen.

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.

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