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Shockingly Satirical Porcelain Sculptures

It's Murder on the Dance Floor

Not all ballerinas are prim and proper, especially the ones depicted by artist Penny Byrne. The Australia-based artist alters the elegance that porcelain figurines customarily portray and replaces that formality with satire and a sprinkle of whimsy. She takes old, weathered ceramic figurines and, through vigorous manipulation, reworks the structures' appearance and meaning.

Byrne, who is educated in fine arts and human rights law, uses her reconstructed figurines to touch on political and often controversial subjects including civil rights, global warming, and war. Her art is her campaign for social and environmental change or, at the very least, awareness. As serious as she is about the separate causes, there is still a hint of humor in her work. Each piece is accompanied by a whimsical title that is often littered with puns.

If you're interested in seeing some politically infused sculptures by the artist, a varied collection of Byrne's artwork is currently part of the SSFA End of Year 2011 exhibit at Sullivan+Strumpf until December 23, 2011.

Guantanamo Bay Souvenirs

Banker, Joker, Wanker

Sh*t Creek

How Much Can a Polar Bear?

Tea for Two in Tuvalu (No 1)

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Tahrir Square Souvenirs

Guantanamo Bay Souvenirs


The Elephant in the Room

The War on Terror Waltz

The War on Terror Waltz

Mercury Rising

Mercury Rising


H5N1 Mutant Strain



Penny Byrne's profile on Sullivan+Strumpf
via [You, Me & Charlie]


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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