Contemporary artist, Paul Fryer’s work challenges our conceptions of religion and authority, presenting incredibly “human” angels and demons, but it also goes far beyond this. His new conceptual work challenges the scientific theories of our universe itself, addressing the origins of mankind and the forces of nature. The enigmatic British art school dropout uses many different materials from the very old medium of wax and human hair, to raw electricity when projected into the space transforms into lightening.
Fryer creates figures that touch the essence of the human spirit, plus fuses his work with scientific discovery to create actual mini stars. His realistic wax work painfully addresses human frailty. Dead Christ in an electric chair, or drowned albino Ophelia suspended in a tank of water, both speak of the combined hurts of humanity and abused innocence.
Paul speaks about his religious themed work in an interview with Dazed Digital: Why religion?
“Because I am a believer. The symbols and iconography belong to me as much as anyone else. They are mine to do with as I see fit. I mean, what the fuck does anything have to do with anything? Why does everything have to be explained? Okay… I’ll try. The figure of Christ isn’t just in the electric chair he’s starved and he’s black. Hundreds more black people have been executed in the chair than white people. More black people starve to death than white people by what you could call a significant margin too. We still execute people 2,000 years after Christ’s death. And he was black too. Back then the guy must have thought he was wasting his breath. God only knows what he would think if he saw the world today. It’s just as well he was resurrected because if he was in the grave he’d be turning in it. As for the apes, at the rate we’re killing them all the lowland gorillas will be dead by the year 2020. Do animals have souls? What a question. We should be asking the same question of ourselves.”
Fryer has shown all over the world and is collected by the likes of Damien Hirst and Karl Lagerfeld. Take a look at some of his more controversial sculptures below.
See Paul’s complete body of work on his website.