Author: Imogen Aldridge

Discover the artists combining street art and sculpture

“Where did I learn to understand sculpture? In the woods by looking at the trees, along roads by observing the formation of clouds, in the studio by studying the model, everywhere except in the schools.”

— Auguste Rodin

At Art Republic we have long recognised the brilliance of Street Art for its unique social commentary and witty interpretations of popular culture. Many of our talented artists create three-dimensional works that cleverly manipulate and transform familiar objects into their own unique creations. From vivid colours to humorous compositions and boundary-pushing subject matter, street art-inspired sculptures are a joy to experience.

Although, at first glance, Ancient Greece and the streets of New York have little in common, they are both recognised as the birthplace of new forms of art. Whilst Greek artists in 800 BC moved away from traditional painting to create sculptures that were true to the human form, graffiti artists in 1960s New York were finding a new form of expression on the sides of train cars. Both sculpture and street art are celebrated as a daring move away from tradition.

Working on a three-dimensional scale allows for freedom of expression - many of the sculptors in the Art Republic community regularly extend the limits of their chosen art form. They push the boundaries through their varying techniques and mediums to create artworks which are though-provoking and limit-pushing.

Who says sculpture has to be serious? Each of these artists have re-imagined sculptural aesthetics to play with motifs from popular culture. Take a look at just a few of our favourites below...

KAWS

Brian Donnelly a.k.a. KAWS lives and works in Brooklyn, USA and is a graffiti artist and designer. KAWS takes beloved pop culture icons like Mickey Mouse and gives them a signature street art twist - all through the medium of sculpture. Although his characters are often portrayed as sad or covering their faces, KAWS' sculptures are endearing and relatable. Often compared to Andy Warhol due to his success in blurring the boundaries between high and low art, KAWS has really spearheaded the sculpture movement, adapting and modernising it for a 21st Century audience.

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Undercover Bear Companion (Black), 2009 by KAWS

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This sculpture sees KAWS’ original bear design ‘Companion’, who was introduced to the world in 1999, as the cuddly teddy bear for the Undercover bear, from the brand of iconic Japanese designer Jun Takahashi.  

RYCA 

The use of sculpture to represent or commemorate religious figures has been popular for centuries, and street artist RYCA loves to play with this popular motif. His sculptures merge iconography with elements of popular culture to great, and often humorous, effect. RYCA combines Street Art, popular culture, and current affairs to create what he calls a ‘Poptarian’ style. We love the playful jokes and political references used in each RYCA artwork, creating accessible and refreshing compositions.

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Buddha Smalls (Sandstone) by RYCA

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Art Republic's exclusive collaboration with RYCA 'Buddha Smalls (Sandstone)' is an amalgamation of Buddha and rapper Biggie Smalls - a fusion of spiritual and American icons. This tongue in cheek sculpture is a light hearted take on the idea of icons' - regardless of whether they come from religion or the New York rap scene.

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Long Suffering Trooper - Blackened Bronze by RYCA
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Similarly, in his sculpture 'Long Suffering Trooper', RYCA substitutes the familiar image of Jesus Christ on the crucifix with a Storm Trooper from Star Wars. Witty, cheeky and slightly controversial, RYCA's sculptures are not to be missed. Check out the street artist's collection of artworks here.

Otto Schade and Whatshisname

Otto Schade is a Chilean-born artist who combines surrealism and street art to great effect. With an artistic style fluctuating between the boundaries of surrealism and abstract, the themes for his works are generally related to the artist’s private stories, offering a unique insight into his dreams and obsessions, as well as political issues and pop culture. Otto is heavily influenced by past Art movements and still pays homage to traditional the art techniques of sculpture in his work. Discover Otto's artwork here.

Whatshisname is a Polish-born contemporary artist now living in London. The anonymous artist's satirical designs are a humorous take on popular culture, particularly the work of American artist Jeff Koons. The artist's name alone stirs intrigue, and we love how Whatshisname’s bold designs and playful cast of characters are out of the ordinary. Drawing the audience in with his witty sculptures, often of balloon dogs in cheeky positions, Whatshisname is always one step ahead of his audience - explore his artworks here.

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Ribboned Balloon Dog by Otto Schade x Whatshisname

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This original sculptural artwork by Otto Schade and Whatshisname is a joyful combination of both artists' styles. Whatshisname’s light-hearted balloon dog form and Otto's signature ribbon detailing means that this witty sculpture shines with personality and humour.

Want to see more of our sculptural artworks? Explore our sculpture collection here. Our street art collection is worth exploring too - check it out here.

sculptures

Moving Forms by Mr Penfold
Exclusive
Moving Forms £165

Mr Penfold

26 x 30cm

Limited edition of 15

Snake by Haus of Lucy
Exclusive
Snake £65 £30

Haus of Lucy

20.32 x 20.32cm

Limited edition of 30

Space Invaders by Haus of Lucy
Exclusive
Space Invaders £65 £30

Haus of Lucy

20.32 x 20.32cm

Limited edition of 30

Worries Go Down Better with Soup by Magnus Gjoen
Rare
Worries Go Down Better with Soup £300 £280

Magnus Gjoen

10 x 14cm

Limited Edition of 200

3D Little Big Space by Invader
Rare
3D Little Big Space £1,500

Invader

28 x 20cm

Limited Edition of 5000

Duo Series 007 by Laura Jane Scott
Ready To Hang
The Calculation of Petals in a Flower... £300

Nick Chaffe

42 x 35cm

Limited Edition of 50

Artist's Hand (First Edition), 2017 by Ai Weiwei
Rare
Artist's Hand (First Edition), 2017 £7,130

Ai Weiwei

12.7 x 10.2 x 10.2 cm

Unnumbered edition of 1000

Cupid (Love Not War) £3,590

Magnus Gjoen

10 x 21cm

Limited Edition of 50

Duo Series 006 by Laura Jane Scott
Ready To Hang
Christmas Pudding Spray Can £100

DS

7 x 18cm

Mini Relief 007 by Laura Jane Scott
Ready To Hang
Fist Bump £120 £100

Nick Chaffe

16 x 12cm

Limited Edition of 25

Mini Relief 002 by Laura Jane Scott
Ready To Hang