the curious sculptural works of a dreamy idealist
Inga Lena is an emerging artist from the Washington, DC metropolitan area now in Orange County, CA. As the daughter of a professor of fine art, Inga had an early window into the art community and attended classes at the Corcoran College of Art & Design through her teenage years. With interests in both art and science, Inga received her BS in Animal Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Maryland RVT license. Her continuing education as an artist has been largely self-taught, benefitting from instructional books, social media and guidance from other artists.
Inga’s early work consisted of plush and textile art. Her soft sculptures have been featured in Stuffed magazine and seen at local juried craft shows and brick-and-mortar shops. Her current work focuses mainly on surreal 3-D sculpture, working with materials such as polymer and epoxy clays as well as molding and casting resin figures. Inga's work has been featured online for several years and she is currently creating a more physical presence in galleries spanning the globe. She runs her web store and social media under the name Absurdery.
The amazing floating head of Inga,
I have always believed in monsters and the unsettling. My imagination ran wild, always. As a kid I believed there were 'critters' under my bed that would roll out and eat me up. I ran past the mirrors in my room if I had to get up at night because I couldn't help thinking 'Bloody Mary'. As an adult I continue to have trouble in the dark because my mind will wander to the moments in horror movies that I found most horrible. Conversely, I am a true believer in the magic and life children infuse into the toys they love and the stories and folklore they hear. As an adult I feel lucky hanging on to this magic. Getting lost in stories and play offers limitless adventure, lands, and creatures to encounter.
Creating darkly endearing creatures is my way of guiding my headstrong imagination. They often represent the transition from childhood toy to living creature. Often they are found in a state of desolation and decay, after the one who bestowed life upon them has moved on. I see myself acknowledging them and offering them asylum. Others could live in a forest full of talking plant life and anthropomorphic animals. My monsters are benevolent, for the most part. I perceive them to be shy and elusive but quite bright. I imagine them living, scurrying busily about while going unnoticed and being considered by most not to exist at all. Some of my creatures do turn out to be tricksters. Others seem to be duplicitous and not trustworthy at all.
My inspiration is derived from what could be but is not, the cryptoflora and cryptofauna that inhabit my imagination made tangible. I am unsure of where my actual ideas come from, a question that I am often asked. Most of them are unplanned and born from incidental word or shape combinations that conjure an image. Some begin as a daydream gone rogue. Many of my ideas stem from the thought 'Wouldn't it be funny if....' The ears and eyes are the most communicative parts to me, conveying personality and feeling. Once a monster is made it seems full of life and secrets. My favorite part of making is finally uncovering the glass eyes or adding the gloss to the black eyes that makes them sparkle with consciousness.
I can specifically remember watching Guillermo del Toro's 'Don't be afraid of the dark' and deciding that I wanted to make monsters like those little wicked baddies except not malicious. I wanted their little teeth to look like they might just go in for a nip and their little eyes to gleam with life. I am inspired by current artists such as Ellen Jewett, Scott Radke, and Amanda Spayd. Other influences include Dr. Seuss, 'The Velveteen Rabbit', The Juniper Tree illustrated by Maurice Sendak, international myth and folklore, and puppet theater. I was lucky to have wonderfully illustrated collections of folk and fairy tales while I was growing up, my favorite illustrator is Michael Hague. As an adult I continue to collect folktales, myths, and fairy tales from around the world.
Aside from my artwork I have devoted my life to riding horses competitively, teaching horseback riding, and small animal veterinary medicine as an RVT. Like any good libra I am a hard working lazy person and constantly attempt to balance the opposite elements of my life. I am shy, a little paranoid and superstitious, mistrusting of strangers but a fiercely loyal friend. I obsessively collect scrapbooking paper (I don't scrapbook). My favorite foods are Trader Joe's veggie sticks, anything smothered in melted cheese, and fresh fruit. My one regret is that I do not enjoy drinking wine, I feel this failure makes me lack culture. Now you know everything but if you want to know more you can email me with art related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.'