Image Image Image Image Image

* = required field

BOM: get the Best of Mosaic Art NOW

Keep up with what’s happening in the world of  contemporary mosaics on your own time by subscribing to The BOM.

The BOM is a weekly digest showcasing three MAN articles and the top five tweets of the week. Sign up below and  The BOM will show up in your email inbox every Sunday at noon Pacific Standard Time.

We hate spam, too, so we won’t share your information with anyone else and guarantee that The BOM will be the only time you’ll hear from us – unless, of course, something really great comes up.

Scroll to Top

To Top

21

Feb
2013

This Article appears in:

Artists
Home Spotlight Articles

Read the comments:

4 Comments

The Multi-Dimensional Mosaic Sculptures of Monica Machado

On 21, Feb 2013 | 4 Comments | In Artists, Home Spotlight Articles | By Nancie

This article on Portuguese artist Monica Machado first appeared in the 5th edition of Mosaique magazine published in January 2013 and is a translation from the original French. The author, Renée Malaval is the Publisher of the magazine and a mosaic artist herself.  MAN’s reprint of this article is part of our happy collaboration with Mosaique.  We are grateful for the opportunity to show the work of an exciting artist we discovered through the magazine’s pages.  

By Renée Malaval

The Gabrielle Laroche Gallery located in the core of the Rive Gauche (Left Bank) in Paris is prized for its specialization in furniture and sculpture dating from the Middle Ages through the 17th century.  The Gallery also exhibits contemporary sculptures and recently showcased multiple works from Monica Machado – a definite departure from antique furniture!

Monica Machado’s art is unique: she creates elaborate, animated sculptures (electric motors, fountains, sonic murmurs) which are carefully lit to create an enchanted world; she excels in the principle of accumulation, piling and amassing objects and ceramic pieces in an almost frenetic way. By experiencing each mosaic-sculpture, the observer can appreciate the fertile imagination of the artist, as well as her taste for word-plays and puns. The spectator is bombarded in turn by the erotic or the sensual, by the magical world of childhood, or by everyday ordinary life, and is generally led in an endless process of discovery.

"L'Armoir" (The Closet) Photo via Monica-Machado.com

Monica Machado won first place in the Beaux-Arts School of Paris juried show when she was twenty years old, with her piece l’Ar-moir (“the closet”) She was then a student of Riccardo Licata at the school and was constantly challenging herself with her creation; one of her aims was already to elevate objects of everyday life to the rank of high art. L’Ar-moir is actually an enchanted house where every opening, every corner reveals a scene from everyday life that is going by.

The work is capped by a white, silver and copper ceramic dome which is topped by a stopper, giving it the look of an oriental palace, complete with four surrounding Gothic-looking towers. The walls are decorated with ceramic elements, in a multi-colour mosaic with vegetal and oriental designs.

"Balai Pour Sept Danseuses" (Broom for Seven Dancers) 2001 200 x 130 x 708 cm Various brushes, elements of bicycle, furniture, resin, fiberglass, silicone adhesive, crockery, fragmented glass and dolls, lighting

At first glance, the Balai pour sept danseuses (‘‘broom for seven female dancers’’) could be highly appealing to any witch, with its apparently comfortable saddle, handlebars, and luggage rack. But a second look reveals that it is propelled with the help of pedals. The onlooker is invited to discover small details: the saddle hides a set of dentures, the handlebars dissimulate a doll’s face, and a nativity scene lurks in the tail.

"L'Arbe á Doudas" (Stuffed Animal Tree) 1996 Detail

L’Arbre à doudous (‘‘stuffed animal tree’’) is the only textile work created by Monica Machado. Each stuffed animal is an assemblage of elements from different creatures, and is already an original creation; collectively, the whole is a work of art. A multitude of worlds collide here, from Walt Disney to comic book superheroes, to the world of games.

"La Bicoque" (The Tumbledown House) 46 x 37 x 31 cm

La Bicoque (‘‘the tumbledown house’’) is without a doubt the most sophisticated work on display. ‘‘This house comes straight from an inexhaustible imagination and nowhere else. It is created from scattered pieces, and dreams are the only kind of adhesives used. This Bicoque enlightens and transports us: everything rejoices and is teeming with life’’, explains Gabrielle Laroche. The characters of this work spring from the fantasy world of childhood, and seem to have built the house by themselves. The result is breathtaking. With so much to take in even on the outside, one is not sure which door to use to gain access inside. With intense levels of light, even more treasures can be seen in the ‘‘Bicoque’’.

"L'Corde á Linge" (The Clothes Line) detail 2000 260 cm Rope, cloth, silicone, glass, dishwasher, lighting system

With La corde à linge (‘‘the clothes line’’), Monica Machado explores the limits of mosaic. The artist has taken each individual object from daily life and made it wholly her own, before taking advantage of the conceptual opportunity of a clothes line to hang rags, pillowcase, socks, and underwear, all laid out for our curious eyes. The artist has used glass to put more emphasis on transparency. A flower is substituted for the left breast, while a baby suckles the right. The pink lace panties are covered with glass mosaic and topped with a floral belt. Inside, two small figurines are taking off their clothes, under the benevolent gaze of St Theresa, giving an erotic undertone to an object already associated with sensuality in our minds.

"Mise en Céne" 1993 100 x 160 x 60 cm Wood furniture legs, arm chairs, drawer, fence, mortar, water pump, lighting, resin inclusion, entire and marcelee dishes, utensils

The work called Mise en cène (a phonetic pun, meaning both ‘‘last supper’’ and ‘‘stage design’’) is a table. It is a mosaic, all in soft and joyful colours, made from of elements that are stuck together. There is a stack of plates that seems to melt, forming a sort of waterfall. The plate at the center of the table transforms into a cabbage from which springs a fountain hidden in its center. This fountain sports a Venus, animals and plant matter. The tablecloth is imbued with a kind of craziness which compels it to spill everything resting on it in waves of undulating gestures that serve to enliven the whole piece. An entire side of this work unfolds, with the astonishing discovery of a pair of newlyweds appearing inside a jug, while, on the other side, we can see the fruits of their love: a baby in its bathtub. The surface of a cup bears a picture of The Last Supper.

"Le Feau Rouge" (The Red Light) 1993 42 x 22 x 30 cm

The light signals from Feu Rouge (‘‘Red Light’’) are strictly decorative, turning on and off at random, transforming the object into a dynamic work of art. There are worlds to discover in each colour. Red expresses the forbidden, the crossing of which amounts to a defiance of established limits; it also is the colour of warmth and sensuality. When the red light goes on, it illuminates a woman’s upside-down naked form, with a low relief of erotic scenes.

The green light, by contrast, signifies ‘‘go ahead’’ or ‘‘go green’’. When it comes on, we can see a country setting, with cows in green fields, a chicken run, a village, and a castle in the background.

"Provisions" (Groceries) 1997 150 x 60 x 50 cm

In Provisions (Groceries), everything spills over, falls out and piles up. The cart does have four wheels, but none are in working order, and one of them is even fitted with an absurdly low mudguard that blocks it and makes it totally impossible to move the cart at all. Obviously, this object is only meant to be exhibited. The artist has included an incredible number of details, so there is a lot to observe; symbols and innuendoes abound. There is a lot of play on the function or origin of different products. A double boiler looks like a scene from marine life, and a toilet bowl cleaner squeeze bottle bears an even greater resemblance to a duck than usual. On top of the cart is exploding with details; a carton of milk has become a barn, while a sardine can is a grand piano. Erotic scenes are hidden here and there: a carton of apple juice has all the makings of a cabaret or brothel. The work seeks to awaken the desire of the onlooker, who can satisfy his or her curiosity by looking into an opening in a package of a bar of soap, where a woman with a pig’s head demonstrates a few possible uses for the soap. Monica Machado has fun with imitated or invented slogans inscribed on the objects that fill the shopping cart, such as “Faites l’amour pas la vaisselle” (‘‘make love not (do) the dishes’’) or Papier toilette inusable” (‘‘everlasting toilet paper’’).

The exhibit at the Garbrielle Laroche Gallery has closed, but you can learn more about Monica Machado by visiting her website – it is great fun. To learn more about Mosaique magazine, click on the link below to a previous MAN covering content and ordering information.

Enjoy – Nancie

Share this article

Comments

  1. Jacqui douglas

    Creativity manifested into things is what any “Art” is.
    An Artist can not be stymied by thoughts of… “Will this please everyone if I make this?”.
    “Good Art” in my opinion has to be at the very least… 1.Original, 2.Thought provoking and 3.Controversial.
    This Artist has used Assemblage and Mosaic as her medium, using symbolism, intrigue and innuendo to tell her stories in a very original, creative and thought provoking way…. controversial hmmmm…. maybe.

  2. celso adolfo

    Uallllllllll….belo,belo,belo mosaico mas que tudo!!!Formidável catárse musiva!o gótico revizitado explodindo em cores.Amei teu trabalho!

  3. Karen Dimit

    These are enchanting! I want to explore every inch. There is such a sense of spontaneity with her imagination, letting it run wild and morph into surprising directions. Yet from what I can tell from the photos, her technique is very fine, which would argue a well-thought-out plan. Delightful!!

  4. deborah

    What passes for “good art” today, never ceases to amaze me.

Submit a Comment

Adams.jpgAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoHouston.jpgJim_Bachor_This_is_not_a_craft_2010_11inx14insara.jpgWebb_Bryant Patio RaysMohamed Banawy  "City 1" 2011  49 x 49 cm  Clay, glass, cement.Luca Barberini Bone Flowersandres_basurto_large08.jpgBeauchamps-SeasonofSunandwind-2AprilBegayhungry-for-gold-320x312Jolino_Bessera_DontCutYourTongueOnTheRhinestonesMarie-laure-BessonFragmentsIVBiggsTide6272969822_38f84a7e5f_z.jpgMeredith Live Oak bark, recycled tempered glass, paint, metallic powders39.jpgMangere+Mosaic.jpgGerardBrandGerstheim2014JesusJo BraunMarco_Bravura_Recuperi_d'_OroSunflowers+smalti+unglazed+ceramic+63+x+48+cm.jpgLilian_Broca_Queen_Esther_Revealing_Her_True_IdentityCarl&SandraBryantCaco3+movimento+n7full.jpgPixel_Context_Pixel_TributeToNicanorParra_2014_150x200cm (3)Photo:  APLaura Carraro "Breath" 2013  123 x 40 cm.  Stones, marble, tile, silicone tubing, PVC, inverted mirror.  Photo courtesy MARRaffaella Ceccarossi "Emerging" 2013 37 x 140 x 12 cm  Smalti and marble.mail-2.jpgCharny Birds in Hair 1000LChinn ArabesqueRamblings_for_sending_copy12.jpgSergio Cicognani Untitled 82 x 90cm  Marble, smalti, fresco paintingSelf-Portrait, 2004-2005 102 x 86Clough.jpgBiggs_and_CollingsRebecca_Collins_StrengthToStrength_2011Luca_Carlo_Colomba_4552.jpgKeKe Cribbs "Casa PapaDoble"  Photo from the artist's Facebook page.DSCN0270.JPGCzapracki.jpgJeanAnn Dabb "Assay 1: Delamar" 2012  20 in. diameter  Bone ash cupels, ceramic crucibles, glass, porcelain.  In the background:  "Core:  Tintic District"  2012  Triptych 70 x 13 in panels.  Stone core samples, ceramic, smalti, woodAndrea Deszö  "Community Garden"  2006Julie_Dilling_Keep_Me_WarmDimit.jpgKatrina Doran  Noli Me TangereGary Drostle, 2010 "Movement and Vitality" DetailDrouin.jpgErcolani.jpgFaileSizeVisionMosaic.jpgneda-600x400.jpgRosanna FattoriniCynthia Fisher  "To Everything There Is A Season, Summer"  2011  25 x 33 in.  vitreous glass, stained glass, smalti, stone, unglazed porcelain, broken pottery, marble, mirror glass, groutSara Frost "Querty" Detail  Photo: via Colossal.comBenedetta Galli "We Are The 99" 2013 140 x 200 cm  Photos and silicone on canvas.Giovanna Galli (France)5pods.jpgRed+Pods.jpgLarry_M_Levine.jpgGoode.jpgElaine M Goodwin Touching ParadiseRoberta Grasso "Memory of a Dream" 2012  460 x 230 cm  Silicon, smalti, ceramic glass, organza, tulle.Jhgreen_wall.jpgfull.jpgErika+full.jpgYakov Hanansen "Brain" 36 x 36 in. Hand-made ceramic tesserae, porcelain, smalti.Hanansen_GRS_framed_2000Hisao Matsuo "Don't Tell What Was Seen In The Woods" 24 x 35"Kim Jae Hee "Corea del Sud" (Uncomfortable House) 2010 40 x 40 cm Nails & felt  Photo courtesy MARProgressonIII Rhonda HeislerIMG_1199.jpgLaura Hiserote "No Time To Be Koi"  DetailSamantha Holmes "Absensce (Moscow)" 2012  260 x 150 cm  Marble, smalti, ceramic glass, gold.hubbell-intro.jpgTessa_Hunkin_Varieties_PeakingDog_PhotoTHHutchinson_Tango_Corto1Iliya Iliev  "Sesif"  2010  70x120cm diptych.  Stones, glassMombasa.jpgPamela Irving "Mr. Logomania" 2013 (Australia)Iskander+Impromptu-in-Blue+2000.jpgKate Jessup "Tense Twinships" 2012  36x52 in.  Glass, wood, thinset, stone, found objectsjones-time-for-lunch-1000Francien Jongsma Simonemichaelferris.jpgZhanna Kadyrova "Diamonds" 2006  Variable. Cement, tile.Kaitis.jpgVadzim Kamisarau "The Main News 3"  2012  50 x 95 cm  Cement, smaltikenawy-memories-full1Keren.jpgKate_KerriganWalkingInRainMatko_KezleInki-400-bimg-kii-blue-grids-in-blue-big.jpgPermafrost+King.jpgAndrej-Koruza-Structured-1-2011-Detailkozachek+Three+Intruding+Fanatics.jpgMichael_Kruzich_SylvesterKazumi Kurihara "Il Libro Legge" (The book reads) 2011 (Japan)Melaine_Lenoelevy-a-man-in-a-waiting-room-300dpi-1000Bett Ann Libby "China Leaf Tea" 2006  13 x 13 x 10 in.  Photo:  David CarasMarco De Luca "La Morte di Ofelia" 2003 123 x 183 x 3 cmLucas.jpgSager.jpgdragonflycompleteMonica_Machado_The_Clothes_Line_2000_260cmCorde-à-linge-Monica-Machado-détailstone-circle-dugald-macinnesMohamad Banawy "Abstract 3" 2010 80 x 80 cm  Clay, glass.MAN2009-Marzi-foto.jpgEaster_Egg_Mosaic_02.jpgAnadoMcLaughlinru paul2.pngHildreth_MeiereCathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Drinking deer mosaic on northJeroenMeijerMaterNostra2008"More American Gifts:  Grenades"  2005  5.5 x 3.9 x 3.5 in  Ceramic, porcelain, plaster, wire, metal, cement adhesive, grout.the rainJason Middlebrook "Brooklyn SeedsFlaking paint on wooden door, Perthshire, Scotland. Photo: Helen Miles MosaicsAndrea Deszö  "Community Garden"  2006Julian_Modica_zappa.jpgMosaic RhinocerosLynnMoorPipgtailGirlBOMIMG_6541.jpgJinette+Mosaique.jpgMosaïzm "Gallaxiam" 2013 Detail  Photo courtesy MARCleo Mussi "Mind"  2012Silvia_Naddeo-Transition-2012Megumi-Naitoh-4192010-detail-Michael-WelchFamiliarGroundNewton Serenity 2FelicesBalls_4546.jpg8419_1251766378980_1374130919_703135_1818425_n.jpg"Cerulean Rendesvous" Carole Choucair-Oueijan 53.5 x 45 in.    Smalti, 24 karat gold smalti, cristallino, marble, granite111_0424.jpgFamiliarGroundNiki_de_Saint_Phalle_Tarot_Garden114Picasso.TeteFauveSergio-Policicchio-Corpi-celesti-2011"Dama-Dama" (2014) 1385 x 1165 cm.Elena Prosperi "Wakan-Tanka" 2013  60 x 198 cm  Tiffany glass, glass metal leaf, stones, feathers.Allan Punton "The Three Doges" 2014 Inspired by a ghost story by Alberto Toso FeiRebecca+detail.jpgAndjelka Radojevic  My Little ChickadeeGila+Rayberg+Morning+After.jpgSonya Louro do Rego "Fall" 2011 150 x 50 x 25 cm Shells and marble on wood and polystyrene  Photo: NTMP3312140193_3f2f0905ec.jpgNightshirt-Richey.jpegMo-Ringey-Stools-2004Faith Ringgold "Flying Home:  Harlem Heroes and Heroines (Downtown and Uptown)" 1996  Photo via MTA Arts for Transitdiego_rivera1-320x160Anna Rommel "Green Fish"clug romaniaAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoRuth_Minola_Scheibler_nightflight_024"x4"Peter Rabbit & fence Beatrix Pottermedium_Reminiscence.jpgWINDSTILL+1.jpgGino-Severini-Church-of-St-Mark-Cortona-Mosaic-wiki-cropIlana Shafir WhirlBeneath+1.jpgmail.JPGVox+Sizemore.JPG100_5652.jpgJasna SokolovicSollinger+Old+Growth+2000.jpgCarol Stirton-Broad "From My Sister's Garden #3" 2013 3.5 x 10.5 inPam Stratton "Twin Lights"Hisao Matsuo "Don't Tell What Was Seen In The Woods" 24 x 35"Carol Talkov "What's Inside" 2012  14 x 17 x 4tavonatti+4+close+up.jpgKathy Thaden  The VisitCynthia Toops "Wolf and Dog" 2012 2.75 x 2.75 x .25 in. Plymer clay, sterling silver metalwork by Chuck Domitrovich  Photo:  Michael WelchBrooks Tower "No Pants"  2004  24 x 14 in.Matylda Tracewska "Untitled" 60 x 48 cm. Marble and paint.Matylda Tracewska "Black Square III"  2011  80 x 80 x 4 cm.  Marble, smalti.Crack+true.jpgTunick_07_1Federico UribeVital CU 02vortex+close+up.jpgennisHouse_1428291c.jpgIsaiah Zagar    Photo WikipediaAleksey Zhuchov "Still Life With Bottles" 2012  50.5 x 47 cm  Natural and artificial stone, smalti.