Fire Breather

2003
Fibreglass, Steel
214 x 610 x 214 cm
Edition of 1

While Mach frequently uses multiple mass-produced objects, most notably magazines, newspapers and car tyres, in his practice, with Fire Breather he uses instead the more conventional combination of fibre glass and steel. Consistent with previous practice however, he does retain the elements of humour and social commentary that are so apparent in his other works. The fibreglass figure stands in mid-stride on an upward-sloping steel base, which visually creates a stage-like platform for his performance. Mach has created what at first glance appears to be a very standard, idealised young man; strong masculine features, six-pack, broad shoulders, muscular arms. Yet the tanned bare chest, studded arm bracelet, thick buckled belt, large hoop earring in the right ear, the exaggerated-looking golden hair, and the ruffled spotted handkerchief in his back pocket indicate an alternative model of masculinity. Mach is not simply being playful, as these sexualised characteristics add to the theatricality of Fire Breather, which culminates with the figure blowing fire through a torch every two minutes. In a sense, a connection can be made with Mach's fascination with the effects of fire on his work, as can be seen in his match-head series.

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About The Artist

Mach is heavily influenced by Pop Art and consumerism, and employs a sense of drama, performance and unpredictability in his work. His work explores materiality on a monumental scale through the collation of mass–produced objects, most notably magazines, newspapers and car tyres to form large–scale installations. His work is representational, humorous, often controversial and uses scale in itself to deliberately overwhelm audiences. Mach’s practice subverts traditional meanings assigned to objects by re-assigning his objects with surreal and anarchic connotations. By creating new meaning and subverting what we consider fact Mach manifests work that confronts and surprises audiences and provokes a reconsideration of established perception.

David Mach

Born: 1956

Other Artworks by David Mach at CASS

1996

The Garden Urn

T​he Garden Urn is a version of The Garden Urn with Fruit, and forms part of a series of works using wire coat hangers a…

1996

The Garden Urn with Fruit

The concept for The Garden Urn with Fruit is rooted in the overly–decorative, mass-reproduced garden urns that can be fo…

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