There’s a growing roster of found-object artists working in what I call mechanical animism, an aesthetic world where the margins between the born and the made have become leaky and distinctions between humans, animals, and machines are fluid and ambiguous. One of the true masters of this genre is Belgian artist Stéphane Halleux. We’ve fawned all over Stephane’s work here before, and with a new website and a bunch of new pieces on display there, we get to ogle all over again. I love the whimsy and humor in his work, the macabre undercurrents, and the incredible craftsmanship of the sculpture themselves. Look at the close-up images on the site and you’ll be amazed at the quality of the work and the crazy detail that goes into every piece. With so many people doing this type of 21st century folk art, using similar materials of junk, found objects, antique appliances, and dead media artifacts, Stéphane’s work stands out and has a charm about it that’s truly unique, and I find, extremely inspiring.
Device Vol. 1: Fantastic Contraption
Sale Price: $13.95 (normally $19.99)
Stéphane’s sculptures are featured in this gorgeous book we sell in the Maker Shed, put together by Amy and Greg Brotherton of Device Gallery. Other artists featured include Mike Libby, Christopher Conte, Nemo Gould, and Greg Brotherton, all of whom have been covered here on Make: Online. I’m even in here; I wrote the Introduction. Device is putting together Volume II now, and I’m honored to be involved in that project as well. Some of the Device artists will be at Maker Faire, including Nemo and the Brothertons.