Following the recent success of David Breuer-Weil
s Project 4 in the Waterloo Vaults, hes now taking over London. Walk out of Victoria station and you will spot his latest bronze sculpture, Alien, which has landed in Grosvenor Gardens.
Five times the size of the average person, this monumental work is already capturing everyones attention. The massive scale of the work helps portray the emotions expressed and increase the drama.
Alien is executed in the loose sculptural style that is the hallmark of Breuer-Weil's monumental pieces. The work is scaled up from an originally much smaller maquette and the finger prints and marks of the artist are also scaled up. This means that the work - as well as its subject - appear to be the consequence of some greater, gigantic being. The surface of Alien will also be familiar to anyone who has seen Breuer-Weil's work in recent years as it is marked across all over with his graffiti musings and doodling. Amongst these marks can be found the name of his grandfather who, in part, inspired the work, as well as a portrait of the Kaiser of Nerac, who rules the imaginary world where many of Breuer-Weil's paintings and other works find their inspiration.
David Breuer Weil commented Alien is an invasion into London. Grosvenor Gardens is named after the great landowning Grosvenor Family and the site is very close to Buckingham Palace. I love the idea of the shock of an alien landing in the heart of London and taking everybody by surprise. Every new work of art should be like an alien landing, something sudden and unexpected. It is a very passionate piece of sculpting, with huge enlarged fingerprints. I have this idea that extra-terrestrials are completely human, maybe just different in scale, as is the case with my sculpture, which is five times the size of an ordinary person, but very human otherwise. The work is also has a personal story. My grandfather was a refugee from Vienna and fled after the Nazis took over there in 1938. He landed in England very suddenly, but found he was labeled an Enemy Alien when he arrived here. He always discussed the tragedy of being considered an alien in his new home. I wrote his name Ernst on the sculpture in huge letters, and the sculpture is more about our sense of belonging than any SCI FI theme, but both ideas are present. There is a 1930s sculpture in Grosvenor Gardens of Marshall Foch. He was a World War I allied hero who famously predicted the years of turmoil that would follow the Versailles treaty, so my Alien seems particularly apt in his company given my family history.
Whilst at Central Saint Martins School of Art, Breuer-Weils sculpture tutor was Shelley Fausset, who had also been one of Henry Moores chief assistants. Fausset instilled Breuer-Weil with Moores sense of the monolithic presence that a sculpture could achieve. Breuer-Weil stated: I often thought about Jacob Epsteins desire to carve figures out of mountains and Moores appropriation of natural rock forms. But I wanted to create a contemporary image of a fallen angel, as I believe that every human being is a fallen angel in some sense. I love the idea of making a figure that brings these contemporary and timeless themes together powerfully. But the human form must radiate raw physicality and emotion, as if the bronze breathes and comes to life in the making, whilst being textured and sculpturally dynamic from every angle.