The installations of artist Wolfgang Stiller take everyday objects and turn them into powerful, unsettling images. Such is the case with his Matchstick Men installation, which is comprised of human-sized matchsticks that are topped with blackened human heads.
They’re at once serene and mysterious, but their charred appearance also makes them seem a bit frightening. So what do they mean?
Stiller isn’t big on explaining his art. He’d rather inspire viewers to come to their own conclusions.
His installations are site- specific, meaning that the arrangement is based on the space itself.
The matches were made using bamboo beams and a few head-shaped molds that were left over from an earlier project.
They almost look like totems when they’re all lined up.
The serene face of each piece is at odds with its charred appearance.
The pieces definitely bring to mind images of death.
Standing, lying, and leaning in the exhibition space, the Matchstick Men seem otherworldly. They remind us of memorials, grave markers, and sign posts. They’re human, but not quite human enough.
Are they designed to strike fear into us, or are they meant to incite calming contemplation? Are they a literal representation of being burnt out, or are they merely interesting works of art?
Stiller sometimes arranges them into specific configurations, like this tally design.
These arrangements add different dimensions to each cluster.
The addition of other objects has a similar effect.
If you look carefully, you can even find some un-charred heads lying on the ground.
(via Beautiful Decay, Fubiz)
An installation like this has no definite meaning. Viewers are left to their own devices when it comes to drawing conclusions about the work. If you’re not interested in getting too mentally or emotionally involved, you could simply appreciate the craftsmanship of these strange, eerie sculptures. You can see more of Stiller’s work on his website.