When I make these reversible heads, I work more or less realistically, making sure that I define a strong identity. Then I turn the head upside down and use the eyes as a reference point to build a new face. As I make a new face, I make a new identity and I forget about the old identity. But while the object may have a new identity, it hasn’t lost the old one. It is still there; it is just upside-down and hidden. So you end up with an object that has a double identity; one more direct and one that is more hidden. And anything that has a hidden identity is both really powerful and, in a way, creepy.

Maybe it’s that creepiness I’m responding to. You have to look twice. You’re seeing two things but they have an intriguing level of integration. Some kind of transition occurs.

David Altmejd, in “Seductive Repulsions: An Interview with David Altmejd” / interview with Robert Enright; introduction by Meeka Walsh, Border Crossings, vol. 34, no. 1 (Mar./Apr./May 2015), p. 58-59.

Epoxy clay, plaster, glass eyes, synthetic hair, acrylic paint, metal wire, resin, quartz and assorted minerals, pyrite

Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal