Chad Gunderson’s sculptures look wholly unnatural, but truth be told, I can’t quite figure out what he used to produce his pieces. That’s the point of his work, though, as explained through his artist statement:
The term “natural” can be elusive and ambiguous. Additives can be used in an attempt to augment and amplify flavor, color, and texture. The sculptures I create are deceptive in a similar way; color schemes and surfaces from commercial items have been injected into organic forms, twisting them into something different entirely.
Influences such as Lego bricks, 8-bit video game sprites, and vintage Tupperware have been mixed up and are unearthed along with my geologic obsessions. Arbitrarily sculpted by wind, sand, and water, the allure of rocks is converse to the clean aesthetics and deliberate choices of manmade items. With playful naivety, my work is an attempt to highlight and understand the fringe between these two seemingly opposed objects.
As someone who just finished the Whole 30 diet and gave up shampoo (totally not as gross as it sounds), you begin to realize how many chemicals are in everyday things once you read the labels. It’s unnerving when you really think about it (why does tomato paste need high fructose corn syrup?!) Gunderson’s work is a reminder of this deceptive beauty.