DaveandJenn's unsettling sculptures might repulse you — or make you vaguely hungry
'A friend looked at that piece and said, "I don't know if I want to eat it or run away screaming"'
Maybe the reason that DaveandJenn's sculptures, installations and video have a sort of attraction-repulsion to their viewers is that they're conjuring both the beauty and the tragedy of being alive. Their name is similarly curious: DaveandJenn is the combined moniker of David John Foy and Jennifer Saleik, two very separate artists who finish each other's sentences and make artwork that even they can't divide into their individual parts. Their work combines historical materials like bronze and plaster with contemporary stuffs like plastic and resin — so calling it puzzling is as literal as it is visual.
The subject matter is no less complicated: DaveandJenn look to science, history, time, place, daily life, western mythology and pop culture as their sources. Then, they translate all of it into this dizzying, creepy and visually stunning set of creatures, sometimes without heads.
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In this video, the couple open up about what was going on in their lives while they worked on the anthropomorphic creature at the centre of their studio, called "Every Bad Feeling." They've created it during a tumultuous time in their lives: Saleik's mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and Foy's father with Alzheimer's.
But lest you think the work is mournful, Saleik provides a balanced way of looking at the pair's art: "Life isn't all beauty and happiness and stuff. I don't think it's a bad thing — I think that's just what life is. Without all of the raw, painful, kind of grotesque moments, those things totally lose meaning."
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