Thursday Salute to Originals: Childhood in X-ray Vision

Archaeologists are known for digging beyond the surface, peeling back layers of earth to find out what really exists below. Their realm of expertise is generally confined to the dirt though, artfully sifting through the soil to pinpoint concealed bones and artifacts; it’s almost like they have some kind of specialized x-ray hindsight into the past. But what happens when excavation of the surface and seeing beyond the facade is merged with iconic symbols of childhood and articulated through artistic sculpture? Dig a little further into this blog to reveal just what imaginative (and sometimes creepy) structures hide behind those familiar childhood staples.


On the more whimsical side of the spectrum is the art of Jason Freeny. Freeny takes toys and objects synonymous with childhood – think Legos, Barbies, Gummy Bears, etc. – and sculpturally renders them from the inside out.


A curious play on usually morbid dissection, Freeny’s sculptures display surprisingly believable, yet obviously fictional, skeletal “bone” structures that comprise these familiar objects. (So that’s why Lego’s hurt so bad if you step on them in bare feet! They are chock full of bones!)

But in contrast to the whimsical x-ray-like sculptures of Freeny, artist Maskull Lasserre takes a more sinister approach.


In his carved (more like, dismembered) carousel house, Janus, Lassere sculpted what appear to be realistic bones, joints, and muscles. So disturbingly authentic, it’s as if the colorful lacquer of this usually joyful carousel stallion had been peeled back to reveal the ominous anatomical innards hiding beneath. (Probably a good idea this isn’t a standard steed on amusement park carousels, not sure there would be many takers for a ride on that one!)

This Thursday, we salute both Freeny and Lasserre for using their powers of craft and raw artistic talent (and maybe a little imaginative x-ray vision) to give us a glimpse on what lies below the surface of some of our favorite childhood objects. After seeing these sculptures, all we know for sure is that Sesame Street’s Ernie is in for a scary surprise if he ever decides to dissect his beloved Rubber Ducky. We have a feeling that particular bath time won’t be lots of fun after all!


Image Credits: Colossal; Colossal (Lego); Colossal (Barbie); Colossal (Janus)