The darker side of the human imagination is sometimes a source of great inspiration for some -- even for artists working with recycled materials. Using found objects like old cash registers, sewer hole covers and helicopter parts, along with hammer-formed steel, San Diego-based artist Greg Brotherton creates unsettling but finely crafted sculptures that reflect a dystopian worldview. Colossal calls him a cross between Tim Burton and Edouard Martinet; we are inclined to agree.
Coming from a childhood spent tinkering and taking things apart (and experimenting with explosives at age twelve!), Brotherton's work seamlessly integrates disparate parts into dark but well-crafted pieces that emphasize a kind of post-industrial malaise.
Focusing on themes of "escape and discovery," Brotherton's sculptures often feature eyeless, menacing forms, brandishing claw-like hands and hunched over machines that seem to imprison or completely consume their users.
Other pieces seem to suggest an imagined technology based on an almost steampunk aesthetic, like this piece titled "Search Engine," featuring welded steel, teak, a surplus lens, an antique cash register and sewing machine parts.
Despite the gloomy patina of his pieces, there's an underlying optimism in Brotherton's artistic view though. The artist, who was featured in 2007 by TED, says his vision is ultimately an heroic one inspired by "human curiosity," and where "one being, tinkering away with silent genius, could become the hope of the future." In a world that is often darkened by shadows of human creation, a curiosity tempered by compassion may be the only thing left that's bright.
See more of Greg Brotherton's works here.