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Hidden Hearts: Creepy Hollowed-Out Dolls by Mari Shimizu

Mari Shimizu is an artist from Amakusa in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, who creates hollowed-out ball-joint dolls. Each doll is unique in that the contents of their eviscerated torsos reveal different elements of horror and fantasy. In a statement provided to Illusion, Shimizu explains how “We hide our hearts from our families and friends in order […]

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Incredible Tiny Skulls Made of Fabric by Lana Crooks

Lana Crooks is a textile artist based in Chicago. At first glance, the delicate skulls she creates appear to be real, adorned with flowers and jewels and displayed in bell jars like magical specimens found in the back of a curiosity shop. Look closer, however, and you can see the intricate textures of wool and […]

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Cake Fangs: Sweetly Lethal Sculptures by Scott Hove

Scott Hove is an LA-based artist who turns the ingredients of beauty and violence into colorful, snarling cakes. As part of an ongoing project called “Cakeland,” these sculptures explore “the process of re-integrating light and dark, [moving] from a false dualism to a true whole.” While the juxtaposition of sweetness and savagery may be the […]

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Tenderness for the Dead: Sculptures by Berlinde de Bruyckere

The wax sculptures of the Ghent-born artist Berlinde de Bruyckere ask the viewer a question rooted in ethics: What does a subject need to lack in order to be considered a soulless object? They resemble the byproducts of a morgue, a slaughterhouse, or a taxidermist’s table, all of which are thematically linked as platforms of […]

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Hideous, Terrible, Magical Body: An Interview with Olivier de Sagazan

In the middle of the movie “Samsara” (2011), a nicely dressed man appears behind a desk. He quickly begins plastering his face with clay and paint, building thick layers with feverish intensity. Within two minutes, his head is transformed into a grotesque death mask, which he impales and tears open, only to rebuild and destroy […]

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Cement Eclipses: Mini Public Sculptures by Isaac Cordal

Isaac Cordal is a Spanish street artist who builds miniature installations in public spaces around the world. Titled “Cement Eclipses,” his project consists of tiny clay people who interact with urban environments in ways that explore society, capitalism, and the absurdity of human existence. From homeless figurines sleeping overtop storm drains to the aftermath of […]

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Exploring the Posthuman Body in Sculptures by Bogdan Rata

The surreal sculptures of Romanian artist Bogdan Rata explore the transformation of the body on a hyper-modern social scale. Drawing upon posthumanism—that is, the philosophies that delve into what it means to be “human” in the age of nanotechnology and bio-engineering—Rata makes his bodies out of processed materials such as polyester, synthetic resin, and industrial […]

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Fleshlettes: Cutely Grotesque Sculptures by Jonathan Payne

We’ve featured the work of Jonathan Payne before in a list of 10 freaky anatomical sculptures, but his endearingly gross “Fleshlettes” deserve a spotlight of their own. Based in LA, Payne is a creature and character designer who sculpts everything from whimsical wizards to nightmarish monsters. In more recent years, he began to create Fleshlettes, […]

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Beauty and Disarray: Body Sculptures by Monica Piloni

Monica Piloni is a Brazilian artist exploring the body through surreal sculptures. By blending the beauty of human forms with elements of the grotesque—conjoined torsos, missing faces, and disembodied parts—her work seeks to ignite a response in the viewer, allowing them to see the body in ways it has never been seen before. “Anguish my […]

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10 Morbid Sculptures Brimming with Death and Body Horror

Note: Contains violent content. Melting flesh, living corpses, and mutating organs: there are few things as unsettling as wildly degenerating bodies. In the wake of twisted films that characterized the science fiction and horror of the late 1970s and 80s—Ridley Scott’s “Alien” and John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” for example—the journal “Screen” coined the term “body […]