diddo sculpts a life-sized human skull out of street cocaine
dimension 12 x 18 x 22 cm
compression molded cocaine (street sourced) and gelatin
all images courtesy of diddo
in a rare and unconventional application of an artistic medium, dutch artist diddo has sculpted a full-scale representation of a human skull out of street cocaine. ‘ecce animal’ has been meticulously crafted from the illegal powdery drug, formed in the same proportions and mimicking the biological characteristics as its skeletal source of reference.
to verify the purity of the accumulated narcotic, the artist sent his materials off to a research lab who analyzed and determined its ingredients — the findings revealed that it was, in fact, cocaine, yet ‘further constituent components identified included phenacetin, caffeine, paracetamol and a relative large percentage of sugars.’ the sculpture intends to provoke thought and conversation about the nature of man, particularly our participation in society and the tension it often shares with our genetic makeup. an accompanying poem by diddo delves into the intended interpretations and conclusions one might take away from this piece.
‘once we were animals.
like any other, we lived in an environment of fear and want.
then, we became ‘human’ and aspired to be better.
we learned to control our environment but the fear stayed,
because we never learned to control ourselves.
it is frightening to look at the face of our animal side laid bare
by comfortable excess; the spoils of its aggression.
but what exactly is it about this image that is so confronting?
is it this division in our idea of self?
or is it a realization that though we have mastered the outside world,
we will always remain subservient to our inner selves.’
detail of the cocaine sculpted skull
the powdery white drug forms the sculpture
detail of the sculpture’s likeness to its human skeletal reference
cocaine and gelatin form the representation
detail of teeth formed from the narcotic
take a look in the gallery below to see the process of finding the cocaine’s purity at the laboratory: