French artist Caroline Achaintre's visually striking, witty ceramic sculptures and hand-tufted wall hangings bring together a whole host of references such as catwalk fashion, carnival, and death-metal iconography, as well as Primitivism and Expressionism – early twentieth-century Western art movements that borrowed heavily from non-Western and prehistoric imagery to find new ways of representing the modern world.
Her sculptures often resemble masks, appearing in cultures throughout the world with the potential to take on a life of their own, conjuring 'characters' in our minds. Now you can enjoy her latest series of works, Fantômas, at a solo exhibition at De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, running from 20 January until 29 April 2018.
The show's title refers to the mask worn by the shape-shifting French criminal Fantômas, invented by writers Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre in 1911. In the 1960s, a TV adaptation of the novel was made, in which Fantômas' face was hidden by a rigid-looking blue mask. For Achaintre, the mask is a place where fantasy and reality can exist at the same time.
Main image: Caroline Achaintre, Lord Lord, 2016 © the artist, courtesy of Arcade, London