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60,000 bees recreate the bust of Nefertiti and other classic wax sculptures with the artist Tomáš Libertíny

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#Art history
#Bees
#Sculpture
#Wax

January 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Eternity” (2019-2020), natural beeswax, wood, glass, Cor-Ten steel, 230 x 100 x 100 centimeters. All images © Tomáš Libertíny, shared with permission

Tomáš Libertíny prefers to collaborate in recreating iconic busts and sculptures, although his chosen partners do not accompany him in the studio. The Slovak-born artist commissioned tens of thousands of bees to form the porous outer layers of classic works of art such as the “Bust of Nefertiti”, Michelangelo’s “Brutus” and a large jug that was placed on the “Nolan amphora“At The Met.

Wrapped in honeycombs, the resulting sculptures create a dialogue between the newly produced organic material and art-historical themes. Libertinys “Ewigkeit” is based, for example, on a 3D model of the original portrait of Nefertiti and is “proof of the strength and timelessness of“ Mother Nature ”and of her old character as a powerful woman who rules against all odds. Similarly, the artist’s “Brutus” rests on a Coca-Cola crate, a reference to Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, although its iteration differs from the original in that it “explores the fragility of fate and the finding of redemption” in modern times Question asks.

“Brutus” (2020), natural beeswax, wood, plastic, 160 x 70 x 60 centimeters

Libertíny is currently based in Rotterdam and offers professional beekeepers a framework that insects colonize over the course of the months and in the case of Eternity for two years. “I need to manage the growth of the building the way you would with a bonsai tree and slowly position the workflow where you think it is ideal,” he says. “The end result is always a surprise as it cannot be fully predicted as it would be with traditional crafting techniques. It happens that I have to look at the finished piece for a few days to fully appreciate it. “

Beeswax as a material is inherently contradictory, the artist notes due to its simultaneous transience and durability – Libertíny’s sculptures can remain intact for thousands of years if properly cared for – a duality he has explored since the beginning of the work Made by bees Series in 2005. “For me, a beeswax candle is the best example of pure design. Absolutely nothing is styled over it. Everything is a science to keep the flame burning, ”he explains, explaining that the candle served as a catalyst for the current series.

If you’re in Amsterdam, “Eternity” is currently on show at Libertiny’s solo show at Rademakers Gallery Otherwise, follow the artist’s sculptures dealing with contradiction and impermanence Instagram. Check out for a similar collaborative project Ava Roth’s honeycombed works. (about Design boom)

“Eternity” (2019-2020), natural beeswax, wood, glass, Cor-Ten steel, 230 x 100 x 100 centimeters

“Eternity” (2019-2020), natural beeswax, wood, glass, Cor-Ten steel, 230 x 100 x 100 centimeters

“Brutus” (2020), natural beeswax, wood, plastic, 160 x 70 x 60 centimeters

“The Honeycomb Amphora” (2020), natural beeswax, museum glass, wood, reused beehives, 47 x 42 x 147 centimeters

“The Honeycomb Amphora” (2020), natural beeswax, museum glass, wood, reused beehives, 47 x 42 x 147 centimeters

#Art history
#Bees
#Sculpture
#Wax

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