Author: Bernard Villarreal

The Living Bees Sculpture of Tomas Gabzdil Libertiny

The Living Bees Sculpture of Tomas Gabzdil Libertiny

Meet Tomas Gabzdil Libertiny, the famous Slovakian artist behind the highly acclaimed “Living Bee Sculpture”as exemplified by his first bee-autiful “Honeycomb Vase”

Libertíny’s works celebrate the natural powers of bees for construction when making a new home for their still infertile young queen. Using his profound knowledge of patterns and their repetitive occurrences in the natural environment, Tomas constructs a light skeleton framework and sets up the conditions with industrial precision. Live bees swarm and regurgitate food that the framework provides for the insects. Their output then forms the core of his sculptural work.

Although Tomas Libertiny is not the first to use insects in creating artwork, Libertiny distinguishes his “Living Bees Sculpture” through his method:

“Where the work of others are destructive as far as insects are concerned, mine is constructive.”

How Libertiny’s Living Bee Sculptures are Made

In specific exhibition events, massive numbers of bees are released to complete final work on a laser-sintered framework. Tomas’ artistry in applying beeswax to the framework allows him to gain control over the bees; luring them too feed and regurgitate where beeswax were applied.

The industrious bees will then create honeycomb skin with precision, thereafter constructing a hive by filling each cell with honey. After which, bees work to remove honey from cells to clean the wax cells, whilst returning the honey they produced after cleaning.

In his “Unbearable Lightness,” 40,000 bees were released to complete a sculpture of a crucified Christ. The beeswax-filled framework held a twist, as Libertiny introduced red dye. That way, the bees at work will fill the cells with red honey to effectively depict the martyred body of Christ.

“Unbearable Lightness” won Libertiny the “Designer of the Future award, as well as contracts to exhibit and/or acquire his work at museums, including including New York’s MoMa.

When asked why bees do all this work him, the artist’s simple reply is that it is because, “I am providing them food and shelter.” He comments that the beehive installation manifests their eagerness to impress their new queen. At the same time, it poses as testament of love and dedication, including the resulting tragedy of their individual sacrifice when protecting the beehive they created.

What Makes a Willy Verginer Wood Sculpture Different from Traditional Wood Carvings

What Makes a Willy Verginer Wood Sculpture Different from Traditional Wood Carvings

Willy Verginer, is an Italian sculpture who hails from Ortisei, a town in one of Italy’s most historic provinces, Tyrol. His artworks are mainly figurative sculptures made purely from wood, but often mistaken as stone carvings or a chunk of plaster moulded into lifesize forms. Actually such impression gives credence to Willy Verginer’s techniques.

First off, he processes carvings of human or animal figures only from blocks of wood that have been dried naturally for more than six years to ensure morphing will not occur. He then conceptualizes images that convey subtle messages with the help of a trusty hatchet and chainsaw, and then refines the features using chisels and small tools, to create a realistic looking lifesize figurine.

Yet what makes master sculptor Verginer’s work standout, aside from the precision by which he chisels out folds, wrinkles and creases of imaginary flesh and textile, are the touches of acrylic colour he adds to each sculpted wood.

Willy Verginer’s Sculptures Come Alive with Application of Acrylic Color

The most eye-catching quality of a Willy Verginer sculpture is his application of a band of acrylic color, which gives a concept of time, location or specific idea to the figurine. A band of color can be anything; orange, blue, green, black, gold, silver, whichever hue can depict an unseen location or condition in which the sculpted figure is situated.

One of the most striking Verginer sculpture exemplifying the concept is that of a child painted in blue to make him look as if swimming in a body of water. Another is a figurine of a man trying desperately to solve a leakage of some hazardous silver metallic substance coming out of a container, to which the mercurial silver color has already seeped and spread to the man.

Willy Verginer’s actual sculptures are on display in numerous private and public Italian and international art galleries. Photographed collections of his most stunning sculptures can be viewed at his website.