Pura Vida Sculpture by Jonty Hurwitz

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Pura Vida

Jonty Hurwitz

United Kingdom


Size: 13 W x 15.7 H x 13 in

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Art Description

Sculpture: Plaster, Metal, Algorithmic Art, New Media on Stainless Steel, Other.

Pura Vida is an Edition of 99 signed and numbered sculptures.

I have a passion for frogs. I can’t hide that. I’ve been studying and playing with frogs since I was a child in South Africa and I’ve been sculpting them for close to a decade now.

So when my gallerist in Lausanne sent a picture of the Red Eyed Tree Frog, I almost fell off my chair! I was overwhelmed with love for this little guy (not the gallerist, the frog). That little face is just pure adorableness.

The message he sent with the picture was: “Pura Vida?”.

I couldn’t help myself. I got sculpting.

Pura Vida, in English means, “Pure Life”. However, these two words have taken on a much deeper meaning in Costa Rica.

Pura Vida! Means that no matter what your current situation is, life for someone else can always be less fortunate than your own. So you need to consider that maybe …just maybe, your life isn’t all that bad after all and that no matter how little or how much you have in life, we are all here together. Your time is short, so start living it “Pura Vida style”.

Some Background
Over the last decade, I have passionately pursued the practice of anamorphic sculpture and have always vacillated between art and physics. In a moment of self-doubt in 2008, I wandered into the National Portrait Gallery and stumbled across a strange anamorphic piece by William Scrots (Portrait of Edward VI, 1546). Followed shortly down the aisle by The Ambassadors (Hans Holbein, 1533). My life changed forever. I rushed home and within hours was devouring the works of M. C. Escher, Da Vinci and many more. In a breath, I had found my “people” – a smallish group of artists spanning 500 years with the same scientific/artistic conflict as me. Within two months I was deep in the production of my first work. My art rests on the shoulders of giants, and I am grateful to them.

Anamorphosis in painting has a long history. The first known anamorphic sketch of an eye was found in found Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebook (folio 35 of the Codex Atlanticus) c.1485. In the mid-18th Century, anamorphosis was also used by Jacobite artists to secretly depict images of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the wake of brutal English censorship. Hans Holbein in the 17th century brought anamorphosis into the mainstream with his masterpiece, The Ambassadors, which hangs at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Each of my sculptures involves billions of calculations using a series of algorithms derived from the irrational mathematical constant π.



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