Federico Uribe’s incredible artworks repurpose ordinary materials into remarkably realistic sculptures of food, animals, and everyday objects. His series Pencilism, which was recently on display at New York’s Scope Art Fair, employs colored pencil tips as small sculptural components rather than traditional drawing implements. Taking advantage of the medium’s candy colors, Uribe created a series of prickly over-sized sculptures that look (almost) good enough to eat.
Emulating the process of embroidery, Uribe uses each pencil to create a studded surface, and he builds up the colored points and ends to create mass. Since colored pencils are a traditional material for making art, the artist wanted to buck the trend and use the medium in a new way while developing a new creative process. Gathering colored nubs of all sizes, he separates them into individual colors, then creates his masterpieces by drawing from each pool of color.
For the exhibition, Uribe reimagined these pencil stubs into bright and luscious objects. A larger than life, juicy orange segment is made up of hundreds of oranges and yellows, sectioned off with thin strips of white pencils. Dark brown pencils swirl to make the chocolate frosting of a donut, with a light cream pencils making up a bite taken out of one side. For a large hanging ice cream cone, Uribe combined the pink pencils that made up the scoop and cherry with his signature use of other hardware objects – dozens of plastic fasteners make up the cone.
In addition to the sweet treats, Uribe used full pencils to make create dueling keyboards in black and white. The artist also constructed a life-size traffic light, whose varying shades of green and red resemble the iridescence of the reflective lights.
The Miami-based Colombian artist has created a body of work using other unexpected objects to create sculptures – including screws, shoes, and shoe laces. His repurposed sculptures reimagine the useful life of these objects, turning trash into beautiful sculptures.