Darren Sylvester: The Heads of Snowmen

Darren Sylvester’s The Heads of Snowmen comprises a series of multi-coloured, hand-blown glass heads, embellished with cast bronze features, including carrot noses, button eyes and a cheeky smoke.

Drawn from a readymade palette based on the late American abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly’s painting Spectrum IX, 2014, the suite of snowman heads are rendered in an opulent shimmering finish, ranging from solid blues and misty greens to bold yellows and reds, reminiscent of earlier ‘palettes’ Sylvester has utilised by fashion houses such as Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent.

Severed and decapitated from their glossy bodies, Sylvester’s nineteen snowmen heads appear frozen in time, underscoring the artist’s ongoing interest in how death is presented in pop culture.

The Heads of Snowmen evokes the evergreen playfulness of a sculpted snowman from life, or as seen in cinema, ominously underpinned by the violence of a head without its body. This very action between recognisable figure and distorted snow is held in time, a grotesque, saccharine deformed glowing orb with crude features and a blank expression. A reminder about how short and precious time is.

Darren Sylvester, Buttons, 2024, hand blown glass, bronze, 46 x 20 x 20cm; Snowy, 2024, hand blown glass, bronze, 32 x 30 x 35cm. Courtesy the artist and Neon Parc, Melbourne

Neon Parc Brunswick
1 to 24 February 2024

subscribe@artistprofile.com.au | PH: +612 8227 6486