At Design Miami, Moss Marshals McClure’s Mechanical Menagerie

(Photo: UnBeige)

Among our favorite finds at Design Miami, which wrapped up Saturday in the sunny city’s Design District, is the metal menagerie created by Cathy McClure and exhibited by Moss. The 13-member family of mechanically articulated “Bots” includes cats and dogs (pictured above, “My Good Friend” and “Bassett“), a horse named Buck, and a prize piglet (“Some Pig“) who is up on his E.B. White classics. McClure’s charming bronzes suggest creatures rescued from the burn unit of a doll hospital or plucked from the aisles of a Toys”R”Us in hell. Their post-apocalyptic quality is the product of deconstruction and reconstruction. McClure begins with plush robotic toys that she skins to their plastic bones. Preserving the mechanical organs, she disassembles the carcasses and then recasts the limbs and armatures in bronze, eventually revivifying them with the original circuit boards, batteries, gears, and voice-boxes. For McClure, the work is about juxtaposing disposable objects with unique pieces. “The underlying plastic object embodies more potential for my imagination than the stuffed object layered with intricate marketing identities,” notes McClure in a statement posted on her website. “This contrast between the discarded forgotten object and the cherished precious one underscores societal contradictions and reintroduces us to the magical quality of flipping frogs, drumming monkeys, and slowly turning carousels.”

(Photo: Moss)