plastic, sterling silver, and thread
2 3/4 x 2 x 2 5/8 inches (pendant); 6 3/4 inches (cord)
New Zealand artist Lisa Walker’s pendant is made from plastic Dracula fangs, the kind you buy from a Halloween costume shop. Eleven pairs have been placed on top of each other, and then fixed in place with a sterling silver claw setting. The found object is an important part of Walker’s practice; sometimes she radically transforms it by chopping, painting or gluing, while other times she leaves it in almost original condition. That’s the case here, but the wit of the piece is generated by Walker’s observation that, stacked up, the teeth take on a kind of staccato dynamism, as if the monster’s jaws have been caught part way in the act of closing, and suspended in a vicious but never consumated bite. Hung around the wearer’s neck, not far from the jugular, this pendant is a rhetorical act of violence, cartoon-like and menacing in equal measure. Walker is a graduate of the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, and she was the winner of the Francoise van den Bosch prize in 2010. Her work is represented in public and private collections in the US, Europe, and Australasia, including the Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterda; and the collection of Deedie Rose.
estimated retail value: $1,500
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courtesy of the artist and the national, christchurch, new zealand
gallery website: thenational.co.nz