tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series

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Memento Vivere by Tomáš Libertíny

 

From encasing a sculpture of Marsyas in natural beeswax to making a complete bust of Nefertiti, Tomáš Libertíny is known for creating intricate honeycomb sculptures that reference mythology and history. For his latest work, the Rotterdam-based artist drew inspiration from the New Testament to create a collection of human skull-like sculptures that explore the theme of ‘sacrifice’ and ‘life of service’ in the context of love. Three different bee colonies worked throughout the spring season to create the sculptures, which were filled with fresh nectar from the surrounding flora of an old cemetery.

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series
the ‘John the Baptist’ sculpture | all images courtesy of Tomáš Libertíny

 

 

John the Baptist

 

The first work in the collection ‘Memento Vivere’ by Tomáš Libertíny is titled ‘John the Baptist’ and is influenced by Caravaggio’s famous painting ‘Salome with the Head of John the Baptist’. The result is a human skull-like piece ‘made by bees’, resting on a gold serving tray attached to the wall. The tray functions as both trophy and icon, as the honeycomb-shaped head appears to be growing out of the dish, as if it were trying to come back to life. If left to their natural instinct, the bees would add more and more substance to the face until it is fully human, symbolizing resurrection and hope.

 

To enhance the spiritual dimension of the story, the Slovakia-born artist added a red pigment to the hive while the bees were building the head. Although bees are actually colorblind and cannot see red, the pigment was incorporated throughout the beeswax structure, adding to the mystique. The result is a stunning visual representation of the inversion of nature, as the skull transforms from an inanimate object into a symbol of new life.

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series
to enhance the spiritual dimension of the story, Libertiny added a red pigment to the hive while the bees were building the head

 

 

Feed Your Head and Pain Au Amour

 

Libertiny’s collection also features ‘Feed Your Head’, named after the iconic song ‘White Rabbit’ by Jefferson Airplane. Drawing inspiration from the lyrics, which revolve around the theme of Alice in Wonderland, with references to drugs and encouragements to follow one’s curiosity, Libertiny adds another dimension to the ideas of a ‘life of service’ and ‘love’. This sculpture appears as a bright yellow human skull on a reflective tray that can be mounted on a wall.

 

The third piece of the ‘Memento Vivere’ series is ‘Pain Au Amour’, which is inspired by the famous petition from the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ The artist interprets this as meaning that Love is our daily bread. The pink-colored head appears to be growing out of an antique bread shovel, and the title is a play on the famous French pastry ‘pain au chocolate’ and the French word ‘pain,’ which means ‘bread’ in English.

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series
if left to their natural instinct, the bees would add more and more substance to the face, symbolizing resurrection and hope

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series
detailed shot of ‘Pain Au Amour’

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series
in ‘John the Baptist’, the silver tray frames the honeycomb skull as if it were a trophy

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series
detailed shot of the red pigment in ‘John the Baptist’

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series
‘Feed Your Head’ presents a yellow honeycomb skull on a silver dish

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series
‘Feed Your Head’

tomas-libertiny-beeswax-skulls-love-sacrifice-memento-vivere-designboom-full

Tomáš Libertíny and ‘Feed Your Head’

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series
in ‘Pain Au Amour’, the pink-colored head appears to be growing out of an antique bread shovel

tomáš libertíny works with bees to create 'memento vivere' beeswax skull sculpture series
‘Pain Au Amour’ is a play on the famous French pastry ‘pain au chocolate’ and the French word ‘pain’

 

 

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front view of 'Pain Au Amour'
front view of 'Pain Au Amour'
full view of 'Pain Au Amour'
full view of 'Pain Au Amour'
detailed shot of 'Feed Your Head'
detailed shot of 'Feed Your Head'
Libertiny has added a red pigment to both 'Pain Au Amour' and 'John the Baptist'
Libertiny has added a red pigment to both 'Pain Au Amour' and 'John the Baptist'
the red human skull-like piece grows out of the silver tray
the red human skull-like piece grows out of the silver tray
the piece is influenced by Caravaggio's famous painting 'Salome with the Head of John the Baptist'
the piece is influenced by Caravaggio's famous painting 'Salome with the Head of John the Baptist'

project info: 

 

name: Memento Vivere
artist: Tomáš Libertíny

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