6 OF 1: ALEXANDER SETON
Six Quick Questions with One of My Favorite Artists
By Lori Zimmer
When I think about marble sculpture, I associate it with days of yore–ancient Greeks and Romans, who had nothing better to do than to whittle away at one ton chunks of marble day in and day out, making idealized representations of rulers and gods. It just seems like too much of a pain in the ass for artists and artisans of today. Architecture has been reduced from elaborately carved ornate facades to endless glass towers, just as art has gone the quick route of digital imaging, screen printing, and throwing together found objects.
I first saw images of Alexander Seton’s works in print. I assumed the delicate folds of his hanging flags, hoodies, and piles of dress shirts were actually made from found clothing. It nearly blew my mind when I found out this fun, 20-something artist was actually a highly-skilled, traditional marble carver, using what I think of as one of the most archaic (but beautiful) skill sets to communicate modern thoughts and ideals. There’s no half-assing with Seton. Seton translates elements of our modern culture with this almost forgotten and unpracticed method, showing that he is not only an expert at this intricate craft, but also not looking for the shortest distance from A to B to get his point across.
Lori Zimmer: What are you currently obsessed with?
Alexander Seton: I’m currently obsessed with getting organized. Things get completely out of control, particularly in the studio, and there is something really cathartic about trawling through a decade of artistic debris.
LZ: Describe your work in three words.
AS: Contradiction. Conundrum. Contemplation.
LZ: What are your favorite recent exhibitions?
AS: Marble Sculpture from 350 B.C. to Last Week at Sperone Westwater in NYC was fantastic, and I was blown away by Dia:Beacon which I visited for the first time in 2012. In Australia, I recently saw Taboo, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which was curated by Australian artist Brook Andrew.
LZ: What is your favorite place and why?
AS: It has to be the studio, however I did grow up at Wombeyan Caves on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, and I love going back there every year to relax, swim in the dam, and shower in the waterfall.
LZ: What is your go to karaoke song?
AS: To get the crown really pumping and on your side, you can’t go past “Hey Ya” by Outkast. If I feel like a crooner, “Purple Rain” by Prince is a winner.
LZ: What book has most influenced you?
AS: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. It’s a book I have continued to revisit throughout my life and every time I read it I still get swept up in the story. As far as a work of non-fiction goes, I must say The Secret of Scent by Luca Turin has really influenced the way I understand smell, something I’ve always been very interested in.
Alexander Seton is a sculptor based in Sydney, Australia. Working in a variety of materials including marble and other natural stone.
Written by Lori Zimmer
Art by Alexander Seton
Design by Marie Havens
Self Portrait; All Art/Images © & Courtesy of Alexander Seton
“Refrain,” All Art/Images © & Courtesy of Alexander Seton
“As of Today,” All Art/Images © & Courtesy of Alexander Seton
“Soloist,” All Art/Images © & Courtesy of Alexander Seton
“An Island in the Sun,” All Art/Images © & Courtesy of Alexander Seton
“That Accurse White Whale,” All Art/Images © & Courtesy of Alexander Seton