Nancy Fouts created playfully surreal images which distorted and poked fun at reality. Although her artwork is sometimes mistaken for digital photo-manipulation, each piece was actually hand-crafted by the artist. Thus each bizarre object you may have seen images or limited editions of actually exists and surrounded the artist in her studio.
Nancy Fouts' distinctive sculptural works reconfigure commonplace objects with subversive humour often bringing together unexpected objects, religious artefacts, creatures and symbols to create extraordinary juxtapositions of the everyday. Seeing the stunning results of her creative process around her in her stunning home and studio was like stepping into another world.
As a long time collector and traveller, Fouts built an impressive bank of objects, religious iconography, pendants and trinkets over the years. These objects surrounded her in her studio, becoming the inspirations and materials to bring her unique ideas to life.
Fouts had a very successful career in advertising before becoming a full-time artist. Her advertising background taught her the skills of model making which became fundamental to her artistic practice.
"I don’t consciously produce macabre work, and certainly don’t consider it all to be macabre, although my dark sense of humour may be apparent at times! Some of my work features innocent, vulnerable animals in threatening situations, frozen in time before a moment of devastation. This evokes empathy from the viewer, but finding the scenario amusing can also create a sense of unease and conflict. Black humour can create an alternative way of seeing things, and is an accessible way to tackle controversial themes."
Every wall and small corner of the artist's home and studio is full of her wondrous creations and artefacts.
According to curator James Putnam, who worked closely with the artist: "[Nancy's] deliciously infectious smile and dry wit made her a magnet for artists and curators of all ages, coupled with her talent for throwing unforgettable parties at her art-filled Camden house.”
Even the bathroom looks like a museum of the extraordinary! The frog sculpture
flashes its camera as soon as anyone walks in, taking a photo of all of Nancy's guests.
On the inclusion of religious iconography and symbols in her work the artist had commented: "I went to Sunday school for many years as a child, and was fascinated by the nuns from the local nunnery that used to walk past my house. It wasn’t until I came to Europe and saw all the religious iconography in Italy, Spain and France that I felt the need to start to play with some of the symbols and to challenge their significance in a playful and humorous way."
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