Exotic animals in silver featured at Wiscasset Art Walk

Entomological creatures express Oleg Konstantinov’s fascination with nature
Posted:  Monday, September 18, 2017 - 7:00am
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A series of extraordinarily beautiful sterling silver animals, each hand made and fully articulated, will be on exhibition at Trifles, 55 Main St., during the Wiscasset Art Walk on Thursday, Sept. 28, 5-8 p.m. The Articulated Animals collection includes a gecko, praying mantis, frog, snake, shrimp, cicada, and cricket.

According to sculptor and goldsmith Oleg Konstantinov, some creatures are more sculptural than others, and he finds insects particularly well suited to his detailed and articulated (having moving parts) creations. He credits his interest in Japanese art and the magnificence of nature as his primary inspirations, although his brother, a well-known entomologist with a specialty in beetles, was an early influence.

Konstantinov, who was born in Minsk, Belarus, and immigrated to the USA in 1989, has been creating these limited edition silver sculptures for 17 years.  The prototype of each species is carved in wax to create a mold and then cast in sterling silver with hand assembling and finishing.  Each creature has many moving parts because every joint moves.  The gecko, measuring 3/4”h x 3”w x 7.25”l, has 60 moveable parts, and the shrimp, 2”h x 3/4”w x 12”l, has 66 moveable parts; Konstantinov attaches each part by hand with a tiny pin.  

Trifles owner, Matthew Robinson, has known the artist since purchasing one of his Articulated Animals, a gecko, 10 years ago. Robinson describes the pieces as “really cool toys” because everyone who comes to his home plays with his silver gecko.  Robinson finds the articulated creatures so beguiling that he prefers to keep his on a tabletop rather than under glass.  Konstantinov, on the other hand, “gets nervous when people touch them” because he knows how delicately they are put together.

Konstantinov’s Articulated Animals have been featured in art magazines, including “Silver,” and are in private collections around the world.  In 2012, his work was exhibited at the Smithsonian Craft Show and was given the Silver Award.

Trifles on Main and the Wiscasset Art Walk are delighted to exhibit and feature these exceptional creations.         

Art Walk participant sites are marked with colorful streamers and touring maps are available throughout the Village. Major Sponsors for Wiscasset Art Walk 2017 are Donna and Frank Barnako, Ames True Value, Big Barn Coffee, Carl M.P. Larrabee Agency, Carleton Real Estate, Carriage House Gardens, First National Bank, Red’s Eats, and The Maine Real Estate Network/Chris Almasi, broker. Additional sponsors are Cod Cove Inn, Fogg Art Restoration, and In the Clover. For more information, contact Lucia Droby at ludroby@verizon.net, Violet Brandwein at 917-327-1449, or  www.wiscassetartwalk.org .