The anatomical toys of Jason Freeny [INTERVIEW]
Art, design and anatomy. Three keywords which characterize the work of Jason Freeny, a brilliant American designer. His specialty is exploring the thin line between genius and insanity in a wise way, keeping balance right in the middle. In his works everything is always in tone without the slightest defect. Funny anatomical sculptures, colored and real pieces of design, perfect to the detail.
Jason made his own the concept of Matriochka dolls, exploring the insides of puppets and icons particularly relevant of our time. The toys are meant as fetish of the modern era, chosen for their shape, scenery and media clamor. His modus operandi is fairly simple: he takes a LEGO figurine, a balloon or his favorite puppet, dismantles it and conducts the autopsy.
The toys he reinvents are nothing but regular, they are by all accounts pieces of art, masterpieces that combine design, unexpected sculpting skills and remarkable knowledge of anatomy. Among his patients you can find common puppets as well as famous victims like Hello Kitty, Super Mario, Nemo and even Mickey Mouse.
Don’t even think for a second that this is simple, or expected/predictable. In every single of his creations, Jason puts commitment, patience and lots of notions – sometimes even anatomical. Between an autopsy and the works for his next exhibition in Los Angeles, Jason found the time to answer a few questions for us.
Which experiences, studies or other events lead you to make your creations?
I studied Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. My father was a painter, sculptor and professor at the University of Maryland. When I was a boy I was always surrounded by art.
What is the basic idea behind your concept?
I like creating objects and creations I would like for myself, the fact they are also enjoyed by others is only a bonus, a further motivation. Take the Anatomical Toys, I created them because I love exploring the fascinating skeletal system which takes shape while dissecting a character.
What skills are required to do your job ?
The ability to sculpt, be able to first picture the results in you head/mind, notions and books of anatomy, lots of patience along with an open mind without prejudice…
Some people defined your creations as Anatomical Toys, what do you think about that ?
I love it when people refer to my work, whatever the way.
Why did your choice fall on toys?
Everyone can relate to toys. They make your mind go back to childhood, but at the same time they feature something completely surreal. The juxtaposition of toys and human anatomy is strange but pleasant.
How do you choose the characters of your creations?
I choose them according to their notoriety and shape. Weird shapes can create even weirder skeletons.
What is your most representative creation?
I think it is the 20” Kewpie doll dissection. It was created filling up a puppet with polyurethane foam.