The artwork that I create has always been somewhat tricky for me to classify, and it’s summed up best by “I make monsters.” Sculpture and Photography pretty much covers the main body of my work, but then there’s the puppets, automatons, films and literature!

 

My primary interests and influences include waxworks, automata, alchemy, necromancy, curiosities, folklore & mythology, illusions, insanity, steampunk, old weird literature, top hats, Diableries, comic books, toy design/manufacture and resurrecting the dead.

 

The crux of my work is the “build & shoot” approach, but I concede to the rich benefits of utilizing a digital darkroom to arrange the images for presentation. In addition to standard photography, I also often document my works with stereo 3-D images. That being said, ALL of the visual trickery that I incorporated into my 80 image WORMWEIRD TAROT series relies upon archaic (but effective) “smoke & mirror” ghost illusions from the 19th century, with no digital manipulations to be found.

As a sculptor, I’ve worked in scales ranging from fractions of an inch to eight feet in height. My materials are wide and varied, a sampling includes: metal, clay, wax, latex, silicone, cloth, electronics, salvaged components, bone, plaster, plastic... and even my grandfather’s dentures!

 

A dream come true, I got to create full-scale waxwork figures to populate a 20 foot long twisted back-alley set that I built at my studio deep in the cold dark woods of the Catskill Mountains for the above-mentioned WORMWEIRD TAROT.

ANNABEL LEE was a stop-motion puppet-film that I created based upon the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Several of my favorite aesthetic approaches were combined when I designed and built the hellish nightmare-world through which Mr. Poe suffers on his Orphic journey, first and foremost being Expressionism. This is a somewhat broad term encompassing film, art and literature - but at its core lies the technique of “subjective perspective.” Quite often this technique results in broader stylistic strokes and the favoring of form over detail to “express” the mental/emotional state of the subject. Being a bit of a nut for textures and details, however, I embraced a rather Baroque approach to flesh out the expressionist forms. Mr. Poe’s world was one of loss and insanity and I sculpted every inch of this realm to convey his madness in tangible terms.

I often favor intensely-colored theatrical gels when I light my works - a visual style that I refer to as “Neon Gothic,” a style that sets the tone (both literal and figurative) for the weird environments that I wish to portray. As a matter of fact, I don’t consider a piece to be complete until I photograph it. The photography is an integral part of the creative process, and perhaps the part I enjoy most. Much of the work up to that point is rather technical as it concerns the fabrication of a concept, but during the photo shoots (after I photograph the piece as originally conceived) I just go nuts with extra shots experimenting with other angles and lights.

© 2019 by George Higham.