Amidst the absurdist gags and studio craft of Jeffu Warmouth’s exhibition “Stamp Sketches & Stomp Boxes,” at Boston Sculptors Gallery from Oct. 5 to Nov. 6, 2022, is something about how we fashion our identities.
“The Head Makes the Man” is a torso, dressed in a black double-breasted suit and tie, holding up an inflated ball depicting Warmouth’s head with his signature curly mustache. “Time to Inflate” is a bike pump connected by a hose to inflate one of Warmouth’s ball-heads.
“Jeffu Plastic Model Kit,” created in collaboration with his wife, artist Ellen Wetmore, is a 7-foot-tall gray plastic model kit that invites you to image snapping out the pieces and assembling a life-sized toy of the artist. Have him barefoot or wearing shoes. Choose hands pointing or holding a beverage can or commanding TV remote.
Warmouth writes that many of the ideas here came out of his 2015 residency at the American Academy in Rome, where his sketches’ “cartoonish dissociations and grotesque transformations of iconic body parts seemed related to ideas about our struggles to be human.” And an artist.
Warmouth has created digital animations from prints he made by stamping inked wooden blocks, rubber toys, and household things on paper. In the cartoons, squares sprout wiggly stalks or tentacles which then sprout eyes and hands.
They match sculptures in the exhibition of wooden cubes sprouting tree-branch arms and feet. Realistic hands leave prints on the wall, or point in all directions, or hold up an inflated ball depicting Warmouth’s head, or try to saw off their own leg. The title of that last one: “A good plan needs a solid foundation.”
If this is the kind of coverage of arts, cultures and activisms you appreciate, please support Wonderland by contributing to Wonderland on Patreon. And sign up for our free, occasional newsletter so that you don’t miss any of our reporting. (All content ©Greg Cook 2022 or the respective creators.)