Gregor Gaida is an artist based in Bremen, Germany, who is known for his sculptures of earth-shattering and bone-breaking power. Aggression, pain, and vulnerability permeate throughout his works as humans and animals engage in mysterious battles, writhe in torment, and stagger alone into defeat. “Attaboys” (2012), for example, features two hooded boys carving a deep line into the surrounding brick, as if marking territory; “Swog” (2013) displays two alien-like, fanged mouths locked together in a violent dual of equal power; “Canis Major III-I” (2014) shows a wounded dog lying on its side, its hind legs dismembered and sides cracked open. In these scenes of violence and passion, Gaida provides a complete story: each sculpture figuratively embodies a driving force, a moment of passion, the falling action, and the pain left behind.
As discussed in this article by Colossal, Gaida derives his figures from book and magazine imagery:
“The found footage is often no more than an impulse that is no longer discernible in the further development of the shape. Analogous to photography, my objects are three-dimensional snapshots. The characters are frozen in movement and often cropped along imaginary image borders. I transport the fragmented character of photos into the third dimension. Simultaneously, when dealing with color and options of shaping, painterly characteristics appear. Thus, the life-sized special interventions are formally attributed to sculpture but are equally part of painterly and photographic categories.” (Source)
These “fragmented” characters that Gaida adapts from print media have a strangely mythological-yet-contemporary appearance. Shattered, tortured torsos are reminiscent of the stone busts of Greek and Roman antiquity (see “Rest von Schwarz”); in “Polygonal Dog,” a Cerberus-type creature has been reimagined as a horrific laboratory mutant, five heads gnashing together instead of three. The multiplicity and fragmentation, however, is what lends Gaida’s sculptural “collages” a sense of power and beauty; they are grotesque and frightening, but look beyond the rage and wounds and there lies vulnerability, strength, and survival.
Visit Gaida’s website to view more of his spectacular work.