Massive and wonderful sculptures made out of rotten fruit
Artist Kathleen Ryan transforms decayed fruit into a series of horrifyingly beautiful artworks. Her use of shimmering semi-precious stones serves as a visual cue that the fruits and vegetables in the sculptures, which are made of foam and range in size from one to 3 feet in diameter, are in the process of deterioration. Blue-green jewels, dark orange jewelry, and white stones are used in minute amounts to resemble the pigment dabs in a Pointillist-style painting as well as the mold that may grow in an unattended fruit bowl. And if there was any doubt, Ryan’s series is appropriately titled Bad Fruit.
The themes Ryan chooses to explore conflict with the substances she employs to create her artworks. A lot of us would throw away bad fruit without thinking twice. But when jewels like moss agate, freshwater pearls, and vivid opals are added, we see the peaches and oranges in a different light—as things of immense value. Ryan enjoys the cognitive dissonance that arises in his work. Although the statues are lovely and enjoyable, she claims that they also have an ugly and unsettling quality to them.
At Art Basel Miami Beach, a section of Bad Fruit will be on view in a huge fruit bowl artwork. View the lavish statues by scrolling down, and then follow Ryan on Insta to see what she’s currently working on.
Kathleen Ryan transforms decaying fruit into sculptures made of beads and a range of gemstones.