Artist HUMA BHABHA engages with the human form in raw and visceral ways, using found materials to make sculptures that are monstrous and totemic, as if they’ve come from a distant past or the decaying ruins of some future civilization. They are also globally referential, suggesting Greek kouroi, African sculpture, Easter Island heads, Egyptian statues, as well as reworkings of modern artists like Picasso and Giacometti, as well as Robert Smithson and Sterling Ruby. Bhabha grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and has been living and working in New York for decades, combining the “ruined but functional beauty” of the former with the “rawness, even when gentrified” of the latter into contrasting forms that are athletic in their potential energy and terrifying in their bricolage.
In addition to art, politics, and geography, Bhabha is influenced by film and television, especially science-fiction and horror. “For me, movies provide a model or armature for a way to combine pop culture and current events in my work,” says Bhabha, who recently opened an exhibition at Veneklasen/Werner in Berlin, following a residency at the American Academy. “Sometimes my work could almost function as a prop, and I like the combination of drama and humor in many horror movies. I want my work to have that combination.”
032c asked Bhahba what films most influenced her work. Below are her picks, accompanied by shots of her work.
Zardoz (John Boorman, 1974)
The Third Man (Orson Welles, 1949)
L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
Scanners (David Cronenberg, 1981)
Huma Bhabha is on view at Veneklasen/Werner until July 26, 2014.