Cobus Haupt is an established bronze sculptor who draws on history, popular culture and tradition to produce artworks that are visually interesting, tactile and playful. The process and method of bronze casting informs Haupt’s work both formally and conceptually. Haupt has a tendency to include cracks, flaws and unresolved imperfections which bear witness to the casting process and catalogues the tactile history of the bronze technique itself. At the same time, these fissures also comment on Haupt’s rendering of the human figure. Human beings are understood as unique, fragile and remarkable due to their so-called imperfections, flaws and scars. These human ‘defects’ and ‘deformities’ bear, as in the case of the bronze casting process, witness to their engagement with life. Due to the importance of the process, Haupt undertakes all the aspects of the sculpting process himself from the mould making to the casting. Haupt’s artistic process commences with live models from which he creates figurative sculptures that portray the naturalistic qualities of the model while harnessing the expressive qualities of the medium. Once the sculptures are cast in wax, various sections or parts are removed and combined with other figures and/or objects. These assemblages juxtapose various concepts to allow for new meaning and creation. Apart from the use of the human figure, Haupt also includes found objects such as traditional African figurative sculptures, broken pieces of ceramic cutlery or childhood remnants like Lego or Mecano. Haupt’s work also relies on an autobiographical element as he draws inspiration from that which surrounds him such as his family and objects from his past.
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