Skoropadenko uses octopi to model her sculptures, to build something classical and beautiful. Having explored the whole of art history she doesn’t feel there is anything more intriguing than a torso, whether created by Rodin or painted by Modigliani. She comments, ‘I took my favourite images of torsos and tried to shape them by using an octopus. Then another. And another in different angles. The next morning the Torso series was born. I apologised to my neighbours for the strange smell emanating from my house.’
Skoropadenko then goes to create paintings of her octopus sculptures. She seeks to create something that is intriguing yet accessible that reflects the ancient Greek ideals of beauty and the search for perfection. Emulating the beauty of these Classical masterpieces, Skoropadenko reconsiders and recreates this in a modern way with a modern medium. She describes her works as the ‘Impressionistic New Renaissance Art Pieces’.
The idea became so intoxicating that Skoropadenko started to collect images of torsos from everywhere from which to create more works – she photographed ‘shivering’ statues on the streets and cut out images from auction catalogues and magazines.
Skoropadenko cites Monet as one of her main inspirations as she captures the subject rather than the details. Her paintings are softened and blurry bringing out the suggestion of detail referencing the loose brush strokes of the master. To see Torso at its best, step back from the images and gaze at the paintings. Let your mind flesh out the details of a beautiful torso while being mesmerised and repulsed by the forms that greet you.