tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees

tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees

tomáš libertíny has collaborated with 60.000 honeybees to create a beeswax version of the nefertiti bust. titled ‘eternity’, the sculpture is based on the 3D model of the original portrait of the egyptian queen. the bust is part of the rotterdam-based artist’s ‘made by bees’ series, which includes other pieces such as a portrait of brutus and a honeycomb amphora. the pieces are on view as part of ‘melancholia’, a solo show at amsterdam-based rademakers gallery on until the 30 january, 2021.

tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees‘eternity’, 2019-20, ‘made by bees’ series

materials: natural beeswax, wood, glass, corten steel

dimensions: 230 x 100 x 100 cm

all images by titia hahne unless stated otherwise

 

 

for ‘eternity’, tomáš libertíny invited 60.000 bees to build their beeswax honeycombs around the skeleton of the bust of nefertiti. the bust is based on the 3D model of the original portrait of the egyptian queen, and, accoding to libertíny, ‘it is a testament to the strength and timelessness of “mother nature” as well as its ancient character as a powerful female reigning against the odds.’

 

the process of building the bust took two years to complete, and was developed  in two stages: first, it was shown at kunsthal rotterdam in the summer of 2019 as a live installation where visitors had the chance to observe the process of the bees building the artwork in real time; and second, the bust was finished completely in 2020, and is now part of libertíny’s solo show ‘melancholia’ at rademakers gallery in amsterdam.tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybeesimage courtesy of studio libertiny

 

 

the sculpture is part of the artist’s ‘made by bees’ series, in which he builds works of art on carefully created frames together with bee colonies that gradually ‘occupy’ the shape of the frame. another work from the series is ‘brutus’, a beeswax version of the portrait of the infamous roman senator who was involved in the assassination of julius caesar. originally looked upon as a traitor, he was ‘resurrected’ for a while by the renaissance as a political symbol of the opposition to tyranny. during that period, michelangelo’s marble bust, ‘brutus’, was created, which some scolars see as a ‘glorification of liberty from tyranny.’

 

‘inspired, but not bound by, I revisited the famous artwork to look at the fragility of fate and finding salvation,’ notes libertíny. ‘the turbulent times call for desperate measures. who are the heroes and who are the villains rest in the hands of time which swings like a pendulum. my portrait looks the other way in contrast to the version by michelangelo. each epoch has its own tyrannies (perceived and real). what are the tyrannies we are facing today and from what are we trying to liberate ourselves from?’tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees

 

 

the beeswax sculpture is fragile yet extremely stable, as natural beeswax is one the most durable natural materials and can potentially last thousand of years without deterioration. referencing marcel duchamp, ‘brutus’ rests on a ‘ready-made’ coca cola crate with hexagonal cells for bottles that resemble the cells made by the honeybees. ‘with the four legged table/pedestal, I intended to evoke a form of minotaur, the mythical beast half-man half bull, which is cursed to live in the center of the king’s labyrinth,’ the artist explains.tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybeesimage courtesy of studio libertiny

 

 

another recent work by tomáš libertíny is ‘the honeycomb amphora I’, an artwork based on the famous nolan amphora at the metropolitan museum of art. the column on which the piece rests is made from reclaimed and refurbished weathered wooden beehives which are interlocking in various angles. this totem serves both a pedestal as well as an imaginary altar, while the beeswax artifact can also be seen as a relic.tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybeesexhibition view of ‘melancholia’ at rademakers gallery

tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybeesexhibition view of ‘melancholia’ at rademakers gallerytomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees‘brutus’ 2020, ‘made by bees’ series

materials: natural beeswax, wood, plastic

dimensions: 160 x 70 x 60 cm

 

tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees

tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees

image courtesy of studio libertiny

tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybeesimage courtesy of studio libertiny

tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees

‘the honeycomb amphora I’, 2020, ‘made by bees’ series

materials: natural beeswax, museum glass, wood, re-used beehives

dimensions: 47 x 42 x 147 cm

tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees

tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybees

tomáš libertíny sculpts beeswax version of the nefertiti bust together with 60.000 honeybeesimage courtesy of studio libertiny

 

 

project info:

 

 

artist: tomáš libertíny / studio libertiny

exhibition: ‘melancholia’ at rademakers gallery, amsterdam, on until 30 january, 2021

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