London-based artist Michael James Talbot creates beautiful sculptures of elongated women inspired by Greek mythology and Venetian masquerades. The surreal representations merge the human form with abstract and exaggerated shapes, most often presenting a visual extension of the female’s garment. Altogether the sculptures stand tall, some even reaching heights greater than 6 feet tall.
The sculptor manages to seamlessly integrate the dramatic stretch of the bottom half of each figure in an unobtrusive way. Sometimes the woman’s foot will peek out, high above the granite base, though often the illusion of the draping material elegantly runs straight down to the bottom. The elaborate length seems to complement the figurative structures.
Talbot creates his captivating pieces by molding clay and casting each sculpture in bronze. He then proceeds to finish with chemical patination, adding a new sense of character to the already expressive figures. The artist says, “The human form gives me an endless source of inspiration. The subtlest of movements and expressions can be captured in the sculpture to portray a myriad of emotions and convey tension, drama, fluidity and grace. No other subject has this richness of emotional and spiritual content or the capacity to convey such a broad and interesting narrative.”
"La Nature" d’Alfons Mucha, bronze doré et argenté (1900), à l’exposition "Paris 1900" au Petit Palais, Paris, mai 2014.
Saint Catherine of Siena - detail from the communion rail of the Church of Saint Boniface, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands (19th Century)
No one before Bernini had managed to make marble so carnal. In his nimble hands it would flatter and stream, quiver and sweat. His figures weep and shout, their torsos twist and run, and arch themselves in spasms of intense sensation. He could, like an alchemist, change one material into another - marble into trees, leaves, hair, and, of course, flesh.
- Simon Schama’s Power of Art. Bernini
Saint Michael and the Dragon As Virtue Overcoming Vice, late 13th/early 14th century
School of Reims
36-1/2 x 20 in. (92.7 x 50.8 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
A statue of Queen Isabel II and her son and heir King Alfonso XII at the Palau Reial de Pedralbe, a building placed in the middle of an ample garden in the district of Les Corts, in Barcelona. The statue was created by Agapit Vallmitjana i Barbany.