CraBird

Mike Renard's avatar Mike Renard

Mike Renard is a Ukrainian artist who expresses his thoughts with bronze. He is best known for his hybrid cast bronze sculptures that represent aesthetic and thematic duality, using the medium’s inherent dimensionality to purposefully challenge his sculptures’ perceptive identity. Mike Renard’s sculptures contain two distinct entities that magically transform into one, manifesting the skillful utilization of bronze to create a social commentary with a poetic approach, seeing bronze as “the material of eternity.” The focus of Renard’s work is on contemplating and exploring various themes based upon the relationship between two portrayed entities, showing a juxtaposed depiction of diverse life forms to purposefully lead the viewer to a realization that interdependency and diversity are essential to all life. His sculptures have also gained much attention because of his use of detail and intricacy, which attracts the viewer closer to the sculpture’s surface to appreciate its realistically detailed elegance. “The duplicitous, double-sidedness and Dual-Faced Bilateralism, as I like to say, helps reveal the meaning of the sculpture.” The idea of his sculptural depiction of the “CraBird” (2016) came to Mike Renard when he found a fragment of a crab claw on a beach and realized how similar it was to the bird's beak. In this sculptural work he combines two creatures from remote worlds to show the immaculate harmony of nature, one in the air the other from the sea. Mike Renard revealed that his inspiration comes mostly from mundane flows he finds in urban and natural environments. Nature’s ceaseless marvels allow him to discover uncharted territories of the human being, revealing animalistic urges of survival that permeate our consciousness. Mike Renard’s arresting visual lexicon, invitingly welcomes visitors into a public space where people, especially children, will engage with the artist’s bronze sculpture and share a whimsical experience that brings forth and contemplates nature’s equilibrium. Art has been part of Mike Renard’s life since early childhood. He started attending art school at the age of ten when sculpture captivated his interest. His talents were recognized early in his life and he planned to attend the Ukrainian Art Academy upon completion of his studies at the Odessa Art School, but unfortunately he needed to postpone his creative passion to support his family. Renard focused all of his efforts on becoming a successful “man of the universe” businessman, eventually building a successful Agriculture and Energy Trading company. Twenty years later, shortly after Ukraine experienced a transformation of its own cultural identity, Mike Renard reflected upon his life and decided to return to his inherent passion to sculpt. He studied, became a full-fledged apprentice in 2015, and learned from skilled artisans to further expand his sculptural vision. In 2016 Renard opened up his own foundry in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he assembled a team of professional molders, casters and chiselers and began to focus his creative energy on his life-long passion. Renard’s sculptures are a reflection of his own life. He has always perceived himself as having two lives with two different vantage points that could only be understood when viewed, like his sculptures, from its surrounding perspectives. One view, which came from his experiences in business, portrays him being pragmatic and rational, and the other side creatively delves into a more metaphysical sense of being. Renard relates to both experiences and incorporates them into a single, unique sculptural expression with two vantage points that deliver a profound underlying message that nature can only exist in harmony with all other living things. In doing so, he concocts beauty with fright, death with greed, or joy with desire, letting narratives bleed into one another and form intertwined tales of the zeitgeist. Renard explains it as, “It is the other side that creates the mystery and intrigue that excites interest, and evokes the answer for what the sculptor wanted to say and express.” Renard’s seamless transitions across various surfaces encapsulate kinetic incarnations of his ideas that challenge the mediocre, prompting viewers to veer away from their everyday paths. He uses recognizable characterizations that have been meticulously designed to permanently alter the viewers routine perception of nature. One cannot walk away without contemplating or being inspired by his unique, imaginative sculptures. Mike Renard’s sculptures have been acquired by art collectors worldwide and his focus going forward is shifting to more large scale Public Art projects globally. For additional information please contact: Orest Kyzyk, orestkyzyk@gmail.com, +1 (917) 373-7156. ******************************************************************************************************************************* Two Sides of A Sculpture: A Bilateral Universe Cast in Bronze by Osman Can Yerebakan “I do not remember when I was in one place for more than 3 weeks—I am the ‘Man of the Universe!’” explains Mike Renard, whose determined mobility across the globe is vividly manifested in his three-dimensional work. He finds inspiration in beauty and composure, as well as collapse and despair that prevail our contemporary landscape, in disparate corners of the universe, which the human condition duplicates”. Mobility is equally crucial for viewers of his arresting bronze sculptures, which reveal their complete identities only after a full journey encompasses them. “It is the other side that creates the mystery and intrigue that excites interest, and evokes the answer for what the sculptor wanted to say and express,” he explains. Mike Renard’s hybrids of animals, tools, or crops are otherworldly creations of the familiar, charged with cultural and historic discourses of his subjects orchestrated into single bodies. He concocts beauty with fright, death with greed, or joy with desire, letting narratives bleed into one another and form intertwined tales of the zeitgeist. Within their dense bronze bodies, they contain the dualities and harmonies embedded in our mundane experiences. His sculptures—either a piggy bank morphing into a skull, with alarming teeth or a nozzle-headed serpent whose intricate scales reminisce textures on soil—find their best embodiment in bronze, a textural medium which helps the artist convey the characteristics of his subjects with equal resilience and grace. “I like to touch bronze and feel the cold and heavy metal,” admits the artist about his physical relationship to this material. Elevating his medium’s tactile density is Mike Renard’s connection to nature, a source which continuously yields stories through its unending wonders and formations. Take, for example, CraBird (2016), a medley of a bird and crab, two animals of remote worlds—skies and seas—contributing to the immaculate harmony of nature, in which living beings, whether an avian, amphibian or human, survive through interdependency. Nature’s ceaseless marvels allow him to discover uncharted territories of the human, revealing animalistic urges of survival and victory that permeate our consciousness. In Don’t Miss (2016), an owl, whose cautiously piercing eyes and voluptuously curved beak gleam in bronze, molds into a boxing glove, a symbol of precision, timeliness and gain, in addition to violence. The most lucid juxtaposition of humanity through nature, however, is La Piovra (2014), an octopus of seven sprawling legs spread out with grace and volume. The Italian title’s dual meaning for octopus and corruption amplifies the work's homage to Christianity’s “seven deadly sins,” one of which is greed. The octopus’ suffocating tentacles, with suckers masterfully rendered in bronze, carry the horrors and consequences of excess desire for more. Also used in the vernacular to define corruption, cabbage humorously accentuates the sea creature’s head, adding farce and urgency to the artist’s social commentary, while presenting the artist an opportunity to experiment with bronze’s ability to capture fluidity and elegance through the vegetable’s leaves. Each sculpture’s swift transformation between two subjects—or, what Mike Renard calls “Dual Bilateralism”—stems from his skillful use of sketching, molding and casting, a sequence of processes that blossoms from a moment of inspiration leading to the final bronze sculpture. Whether on a beach in California or his foundry in Ukraine, inspiration finds Mike Renard within his astonishing encounters, either marveling him with wonders of nature or flaws of the humankind. Eventually, seamless transitions across various surfaces encapsulate kinetic incarnations of his ideas that challenge the mediocre, prompting viewers to veer away from their everyday paths to consider alternative perceptions en route to glimpses of how we endure our experiences today. Osman Can Yerebacan is a curator and art writer based in New York. His writing have appeared in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, The Paris Review, Artforum, New York Magazine, Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, Village Voice, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, L’Officiel, Flaunt, Galerie Magazine, Cultured and elsewhere.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 1.90m / 6.2 feet
  • Medium: Large-Scale Dual-Sided Bronze Sculpture
  • Width: 1.80 meters / 5.9 feet
  • Year created: 2019
  • Height: 2.50 meters / 8.2 feet