Eccentric sculptor brilliantly brings out the worst in everyone!
A London based artist has sculpted a reputation for upsetting almost everyone he carves into clay.
Wilfrid Wood, 48, originally from Wadhurst in Sussex, hilariously brings out the often hidden emotion in the faces of the rich and famous.
Not afraid of offending his models whether they be friends or celebrities, Wilfrid describes his work as witty interpretations of people and never attempts an accurate replica.
Wilfrid said: “My inspiration comes from friends, people in the news and generally just odd looking people.
“If it’s them being sculpted, people are usually upset at my art because people as a whole are very touchy about their looks.
“A gallery visitor recently said he felt sympathy for the people I sculpt because they are so small and vulnerable on big plinths. I loved this observation.”
Growing up surrounded by artists, Wilfrid inherited his desire to create and with sculpting he found a speciality new to his family.
Wilfrid dabbled in sculpting as a child but started his artistic career in an entirely different line of work, graphic design.
He said: “When I was six my granny bought me a kiddies tool set and I made robots in the garden shed.
“All my family were artists of one sort or another but none of them were sculptors so working in 3D was a way of finding my own niche.
“I worked as a graphic designer for several years after studying at Central St. Martins, but I was very bad at it.
“I needed something much more emotional and tactile like sculpture to get the reaction from people that I craved.”
Since going full-time with his boyhood love for sculpture, Wilfrid has created countless animated heads and figures, both temporary and permanent.
Obsessed with portraying his unfortunate victims, in a striking and often unusual light, it is unlikely America’s 47th First Lady would be best pleased with Wilfrid’s take on her.
Wilfrid said: “Often it’s a photo of someone familiar who looks suddenly strange or different, like Kate Middleton looking unexpectedly sad or Nigel Farage seeming terribly anxious.
“I choose people I can reveal something about, for example, I wanted to show a cheeky side of the otherwise serious Angela Merkel.
“I felt a need to reveal the vicious heart of well-loved TV cook, Mary Berry and I wanted to show the enigmatic beauty of Pharrell.
“There are a hundred different ways you could represent someone because a person has at least one hundred aspects to them.
“A sculpted portrait is a severely limited representation of a human being.”
Not satisfied with a smile and nod of acknowledgment, Wilfrid is keen to evoke laughter with every response to his eccentric heads.
The artist said: “I like to think my work is witty rather than comedic. There needs to be more going on underneath if it’s to have any longevity.
“Humour is all sorts of things. It’s a pressure valve when things are tough. Its also a way of showing common understanding and feeling.
“When we laugh together we are like monkeys patting each other on the back. If someone is amused by my work I know I have succeeded, at least on some level.
“But I hope to elicit something more as well.
“You stand in front of a work of art and see what emotional effect it has. I don’t see why visual art should be any different from music, it should penetrate your deep responses whether you
“I’m using plasticine at the moment which is pretty quick but doesn’t last. Polymer clay is a permanent medium but it takes a week or two to sculpt a head.
“Figures can take a bit longer than heads.