Arts & Culture » Culture

Transition Between Life and Death

The Artwork of Monkey Teeth



A few years ago while working in her garden, pressing the dirt in her fingers, an image planted itself in the mind of artist Monkey Teeth. With the dirt still under her nails, she purchased a box of clay and began sculpting her first piece, a fetus, titled Oya, after the spirit of transition between life and death and the chaos that it often brings about.

Monkey Teeth says her work is about projecting her voice, especially where words can fail.“I’m inspired by life experience, my own and those around me.  I’m passionate about language and social studies, how we communicate with each other through sexuality and how dogma conditions us in gender roles.”

When the weather is right Monkey Teeth can be found in her yard carving wood and using power tools to create her sculptures. She also works with polymer, tile, plaster and marble, materials she gained experience with while attending a masonry institute.  She is a self taught sculptor and says of her technique, “It’s something that I really always thought I could do but never did… I mean, I look back before I began and see that I’ve always studied proportion in people, the way shadows fall on faces or how muscles contract in different poses, how the human form looks at rest, etc., it’s been a lifelong hobby of mine in my head.”

Monkey Teeth is currently working on pieces for the upcoming fall art season. See her artwork Sept. 5-7 at Ultra-Violence: A Visual Vocabulary of Stanley Kubrick, at Tangent Gallery, 715 E. Milwaukee St., Detroit.

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