Tickle monster (rooted in Slovak mythology)
With six long spindly figured hands, the tickler ensnares and mercilessly tickles it’s victims to death. The middle appendage is elongated to get betwixt the ribs of its prey as the bright eyes stare forward onto its victims’. Once the monster penetrates to bone it starts gnawing with its rodent-like teeth, getting nutrition from the marrow as it goes.
My body of work is made of beasts, monsters, and folklore inspired nightmares that reflect narrative through visual and tactile sculptural forms. Photo etchings are displayed around the sculpture as stained glass windows surround a church. Crawling, licking and biting, this beast is meant to make the viewer uncomfortable and in awe. These feral forms create an obscure cavort of this malefic creature one can only find in ancient legends. The creature brings forth a new sometimes corrupted nostalgic, discomfort. The detestation of being touched unwantedly, fear of dark or dangerous places, and fear of being hoaxed by something seemingly harmless. All are themes in folklore, and in life. This is a part of the series of three creatures that I have created, rooted in lore meant to bring discomfort and an unsettled feeling.
To conjure these beasts, I first built the body structure out of insulation foam for a more structured base, then bulked up different areas of the figures with expanding foam. I used wire, tin foil and masking tape to sculpt the muscle structure and refine shape. In folk art, people used the materials around them, normally inexpensive and semi-readily available, ranging from mud to straw, to wood, to stone. My choice in materials came from the modern day accessibility to them, the inexpensive nature of which I got them and the amount of knowledge I had to work within a designated time frame.
The tickler is fabricated with a fleece cloth to give it a short hair, thick-skinned appearance, similar to a horse.