Sculptures at Home: #5 Franz West

Franz West is known for his playful sculptures, large public works and function pieces of furniture. Born in 1947 in Vienna, he was influenced by the Actionist and Performance Art of the 1960s and 70s, especially those movements based in Austria. 

He’s famously quoted as saying “It doesn’t matter what the art looks like but how it’s used,” a tribute to a body of work that examines the interplay between art and social experience, action and reaction. West often covered everyday objects (like bottles, machine parts, pieces of furniture and other bit-and-bobs) with gauze and plaster to make abstract, gnarly sculptures that looked like a tool, instrument or whatever else your imagination might project onto them.

You will need

  • Household items such as rubbish, recyling, utensils, toys
  • Plaster/modroc – OR paper mache + white paint
  • Tape
  • Camera
  • A person or your own body

How to:

  1. your chosen objects and tape together. Cover objects with strips of modroc, paper mache or rags soaked in plaster.
  2.  Once dry, paint white if not already white.
  3. Try out different poses and positions, using your sculpture as either a prop or an extension of your body.
  4. Photograph and post!