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Danny Duncombe’s As Above, So Below Series

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Conceptual ceramic sculptures inspired by brutalist architecture.

Self-taught ceramic sculptor and artist Danny Duncombe draws inspiration from the bold designs, refined simplicity, and structures created by the likes of Le Corbusier, Constantin Brancusi, Agnes Martin, Eduardo Chillida, and Rudolph Schindler, among others. In his “As Above, So Below” series, the Los Angeles-based artist explores both the properties of space and the relationship between form and function. The series’ name refers to the link between exterior appearances and internal experiences. At the same time, it also relates to a lack of awareness of what the latter may hide.

The architectural sculptures have a familiar feel, but they are enigmatic and intriguing. Rhythmic and dynamic, the objects resemble small buildings or miniature living spaces. The asymmetrical shapes reveal a new perspective with each viewing angle. Endless light and shadow variations can also alter the objects in subtle ways.

On the interior walls of many of the pieces, the artist added words and longer phrases that tell a story. This detail refers to the importance of the stories – and personal experiences – that develop inside real architectural designs. In a poetic twist, the viewer can’t uncover the entire message without breaking the sculpture. Danny Duncombe created each sculpture with slabs of clay, but without any slip-casting techniques or molds. The resulting objects have the smooth texture of soapstone or marble. Photographs© Danny Duncombe.

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