ARTIST:

Steve Bishop

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Steve Bishop
Christian Dior - J'adore (Mountain Goat) (2 views and 1 detail), 2008
Taxidermied goat, concrete, chalk
170 x 105 x 144 cm (with base)

Christian Dior - J’Adore (Mountain Goat) and Jean Paul Gaultier – Classique (Arctic Fox) are two of a series of three works. “All three involved copying the form of figurative perfume bottles. I liked that they were a dual image: on one hand it’s a bottle, on the other it’s a figure. I saw the taxidermy and the concrete bottle as two figures melding into each other, and also as two objects overlapping. Taxidermy is as much of an object as a coffee cup or any other thing. But they were white and there’s an idea of purity involved, and when you see the fur matted and embedded in concrete it’s quite jarring.”

Steve Bishop
Jean-Paul Gaultier - Classique (Arctic Fox), 2008
Taxidermied fox, concrete, paint
147 x 53 x 47 cm (with base)

Bishop conceived these pieces as “containers for something.” When joined the taxidermy and concrete unite a variety of opposites: soft and hard matter, real and stylised form, nature and construction. By setting one object into another, he literally created an “embodiment”. This idea of a sculpture being both an object and a vessel relates to the history of idolatry, where a form is both a representation and manifestation of its subject.

Steve Bishop
It's Hard To Make A Stand, 2009
Fur coat, polyurethane, polythene, mirrored acrylic, wood
215 x 196 x 102 cm

“It’s Hard To Make A Stand is a more recent work,” says Bishop. “I was getting more into using found things and there’s less of my hand in the making. The horse is made from foam, and the blue sheet is the wrapper it came in. I draped a fur coat over its head and it looks like a dog’s head. I’m interested in this process of readymade assemblage because it’s more powerful to let something operate by itself. It was really hard to make a base for it – that’s where the title comes from. The stand has a double bevelled edge as a nod to public sculpture. It’s like a defaced memorial, like when you see a statue of a soldier on a horse and someone’s put a traffic cone on its head – what does that gesture stand for?”
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