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Ten questions for David Altmejd

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Ten questions for David Altmejd


The Canadian-born, New York-based artist, David Altmejd, needs no introductions.

A greatly contemporary artist internationally acclaimed with a creative trajectory, which bursts energy, imagination and surprise.

His objects and mind-blowing installations have the ability to mesmerize as well as unnerve one.

"I like to create tension through the materials…”

An awry spectacle encompassing heads, architectural, werewolves/mirrors, giants, plaster figures, Plexi-boxes with chain and thread, and so on.

 Illusive games where the spectator’s perception of space, matter and gravity are questioned and “invited” to participate.

David Altmejd’s work aims to surprise rather than to shock, to narrate rather than to impose, to dream rather than to watch…


1. You create sculptural systems loaded with “symbolic potential” and open-ended narratives. 

If you could choose one narrative to describe the essence of your work, which would it be?

2.    What is energy for you?

3.    Metamorphosis or creation?

4.    Which is your relationship with the post-human and the artistic production of the 80's and 90’s?

5.    In your sculptures, crystals grow inside the inanimate human and wolves bodies.

Is this a reflection of a symbiosis or a victory of the vegetal and mineral over the animal world?

6.    What is the New for you? Is it - as you once said, when explaining the sculpture head of your sister (Sarah Altmejd 2003) - the idea of pushing an object in a new direction; exploring something but taking the opposite direction in its representation? 

7.    You have created a series of exceptional and imaginative giant body sculptures, utilizing a mixture of different materials (such as plaster, fur, sand, coconuts), defined by arms spreading like branches. Have you as a Canadian, in some way been inspired by the anthropomorphic trees inhabiting your home country's forests?

8.    A second central theme in your sculpture production is the werewolves, a transition as well as a union between the human and the animal reign. Are these metamorphic pieces in some way related to the culture and symbology of the First Nations (the native population of your home Country)?

9.    Do relics and remains fascinate you?

10.    You have stated that your aim is to create objects that exist intensely in the world. 

With your last installation The Flux and the Puddle (2014), presented at MAC (Musée d’Art Contemporain) of Montreal, a monumental installation that combines all the elements and materials with which you have been working in the last years, how far are you presently from reaching your goal?

Content Contributor    Alessio Mazzaro, www.alessiomazzaro.com 

Content Editor    Annie Markitanis

Picture 1    The Flux and The Puddle (Detail), 2014 Photo- James Ewing ©Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York 

Picture 2    Le Spectre Et La Main (Detail), 2012 Plexiglas, coconut shells, epoxy clay, thread, resin, metal wire, horse hair, acrylic paint, glue, Sharpie pen, thread spools Photo- Guy L’Heureux

Picture 3    The Island, 2011 ©MAC Montreal

Picture 4    The Island, 2011 ©MAC Montreal

Picture 5    Sarah Almejed, 2003

Picture 6    Untitled, 2006

Picture 7    The pit, 2011

Picture 8    The Giant, 2007

Picture 9    La palette, 2014

Picture 10    Untitled (PS1), 2009

Picture 11    Untitled, 2011

Picture 12    Eye, 2015

Picture 13    La desert et la semence, 2015

Picture 14    La desert et la semence, 2015

Picture 15    The Flux and The Puddle, 2014

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