Dustin Poche is in focus for our Art Watch for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across any discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch.
Dolls, figurines, daguerreotypes, models have captured the imagination and creativity of generations of artists as well as audiences. The miniature and detailed aspect of figures are something that approximates the real. And is the closest that one can interact with the object of attention. It is an intricate craft and one that can go horribly wrong. But not so in the case of Dustin Poche, who seems to have absolutely nailed the concept. His creations are exquisite, with detailing that is enviable. It takes one back to the era of Shakespeare and Dickens. Or any of the time when excesses were in vogue.
Dustin is Midwestern multimedia artist, formally educated at the Colorado Institute of Art. He is inspired by his experiences in New York, where he did costume design, textiles and illustration within the fashion industry. It was an intense time of taking in a lot. The technical aspect of how fabrics and accessories look and feel, to the ideological aspect of faithful representation. The world of fashion and New York is truly formidable. But Dustin was cut out to make a bigger splash and hone his originality.
His one of a kind fine-art figurines are mind boggling. The meticulous attention to detail, and his fixation with and execution of period costumes and the characters are amusing, scary and comical at times. One can say that they are unpredictable and compelling. The work that he put in, in the New York fashion-industry paid off and his love for textiles shines through.
He says- “My pieces are very personal and I must be invested in the concept… The idea begins as an unclear image in my head which is brought into focus as the figure evolves. My work is currently done in paper clay but I’m always trying different mediums to create new effects.”
According to the artist when he was working with the restoration of boudoir dolls, circa 1920, this was his lead into the alternative world of sculpting. Not obsessed with creating the new but with embellishing the vintage.
Why Dustin Poche?
Undoubtedly, Poché’s works were extremely well received with great fanfare and admiration. To explain his artistic evolution, he said, “I learned a lot while working with the antique dolls, but there was something missing in the results. I imagined characters with more expressive faces, emotions and gestures. To bring those characters to light, I realized I had to begin sculpting them.”
To minimise this gap – he had to draw into experiences and tap into deeper research. And finally he taught himself to utilize the ideas from that enquiry, emotions and findings – which were unique to him. Poché says that in order to translate those instincts to a tangible form he must feel invested in the concept. He says that the beginning is with an unclear ideas. An unclear image which gains finer focus as a figure evolves.
Poché’s work revolves around antique and vintage materials to create garments that complement the figure’s personality, finally setting ‘individual auras’. According to him – the use of these unique materials adds to the authenticity of the figure. He enjoys working with natural fibres.
Immensely popular, his work has gained notoriety, and the figures have been included in artistic publications and exhibited at art shows internationally. The artist is deeply humble and his simplicity doesn’t betray his immense talent – he says “I truly enjoy sharing my sculptures with others. I’m thankful for those who enjoy my work and I look forward to creating for many years to come. It brings me great joy to see people react to my art. Every reaction means a piece has evoked an emotion and that’s what drives me to continue to evolve as an artist.”
For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.