Biography

Claire Shegog

Born in Rugby, England

Lives and Works in NYC, USA

 

Sourcing the similar little figurines often found in music boxes or cake decoration, Shegog painstakingly takes each little figurine and begins a process that starts with cleaning each one. From there, the artist hand paints each and every little figurine approximately 3-4 layers of paint to give the figurines’ dresses a certain perceptible volume and weight as well as giving them a prearranged colour or tone. Then, the artist will create each and every one of the little figurines’ hats, or other accoutrements, from scratch - including shawls, sashes, etc. 

 

Hundreds and thousands of little figurines each given their own attention to detail. Once the figurines have their wardrobe, Shegog will then assemble them into a pattern. In this case, she will either present them in rows on a designed shelf (‘Chorus Lines’) or she will present them in a circular fashion where the figurines can be viewed from above (‘Rounds’). At this stage Shegog refers to the process as choreography. As a group, the figurines are designed to dance. But, as the artist points out, they will NOT dance unless YOU, the viewer, dances. As you move slowly in front of them - perhaps from left to right, or up and down, the little figurines will appear to dance with you. The colour tone will change or the hats may sparkle - if they appear on a mirror, the perspective of the room may change also. Everything, in this regard, is designed to move visually and aesthetically.

 

The concept of Shegog’s art works are based on an homage to the famous Hollywood musical choreographer and  musical director Busby Berkeley. Berkeley was famous for his elaborate musical productions that often involved interesting geometric patterns. Shegog has said she is obsessed with the beautiful patterning and choreography as a basis for her equally elaborate display of figurines. The artist insists that art can simply be beautiful and unashamedly feminine in nature, without being weighed down with conceptual theory.