I’ve been away travelling for the last couple of weeks and whilst onboard the cruise ship I was introduced to the sculptures of Nano Lopez, particularly his Nanimals.
Left: Dusty, 19″ x 17″ x 6.5″ Bronze statue, limited edition of 320
Right: Phillipe lll, 22.5″ x 15″ Bronze statue, limited edition of 260
I first saw Phillipe lll and was amazed at the brilliance (as in colour and shine/shimmer effects) of the piece and the ‘found-object’ inclusions within the sculpture which, diverse though some of the pieces were, added to the intrigue of the item. Each creature comes with its own narrative, effectively a short story.
Even though Phillipe was fascinating I was struck more by Dusty as he seemed more delicately formed and a little finer in detail.
Both items were being auctioned but at no time, either in pre-auction viewing or during the auction, did the auctioneer mention that these sculptures were one of an edition or how many of each were produced. In fact, my understanding was that they were individual sculptures, especially as each came with the original maquette. ‘Maquette’ was described to potential purchasers as the original pencil drawing, sketch or drawn outline that the idea sprung from. Hmmm, not exactly my understanding, as I thought it referred to a model or at least a dimensional representation of the idea. However dictionary.com tells me that whilst I am right up to a point, this term can also include sketches as per the auctioneer’s description. Something new that I’ve learned.
Others works from the Lopez studio were also available including Alberta (pictured here) and Roxy, a curled up fox.
I wondered how they were made and, on returning home a day or two ago, I searched the internet for information. Of course, the first thing I discovered was that each Nanimal creation is part of a limited edition,, usually somewhere between 260 and 320. The second thing, unsurprisingly, was the variation in price for these creatures.
They appear on numerous gallery sites and also on ebay. My initial attraction was waning fast as I contemplated the sheer number of the works ‘out there’. In addition, Nano Lopez has a very good, and detailed, website showcasing his works excellently and I was beginning to see a large similarity between the different models. In fact, they were almost starting to run together in my mind. Seeing one or two was exciting but seeing them en masse through a google search (Nano Lopez – images) showed me just how limited his colour palette is, how rarely it varies and how often the same found-objects appear in different pieces.
However, despite that, I was still very pleased to uncover a video of the process undertaken to bring these pieces into existence. There is no question that it is laborious, exacting work, and the outcomes are precise, colourful and unique – especially when viewed individually. The video is well worth watching and for anyone interested in three-dimensional work, sculpting or armatures it reveals some valuable techniques. Take a few minutes and watch it here.
Park West Galleries, NY, aboard Celebrity Solstice cruise liner.