Daniel Arsham: Archaeologists From The Future

Enter the aesthetic mind of Daniel Arsham

New York-based artist Daniel Arsham is one of the most recognised artists of today. From sculpture to architecture, film and painting, he has been showcasing his talents in a variety of fields. Born with a colour deficiency, Arsham had difficulties in perceiving colours compared to normal vision, resulting in his early art pieces predominantly being in white. However, this did not deter his artistic path — it actually emphasised his identity and style. 

Throughout the years, Arsham’s work mostly reflects his imagination of the transcendent and the surreal. He enjoys exploring creations that break the boundaries of time and space dimensions, and by tracing moments from the end of the 20th century, he fuses the past, the present and the future, demonstrating the formability and power of nostalgia. 

Below, we explore some of his best works to date. 

Let’s take a look at Daniel Arsham’s best work:

Arsham imagined “future archaeology” in his most well-known work. He uses volcanic ashes, quartz, obsidian, rock crystal and other materials to transform contemporary objects such as a camera, basketball, and more into future archaeological artefacts. He is creating pieces from the society that archaeologists will discover in a millennium. 

 

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The artist has recently unveiled his final Pokémon release, marking the culmination of his collaboration with The Pokémon Company. The Crystalized Seated Pikachu Edition is sculpted from clay and cast in a variety of materials, with the iconic white Pikachu featuring his signature erosion details. As a fan of Pokémon, he has collaborated with the company (Daniel Arsham X Pokémon) since 2018, and this collaboration has resonated globally. The Crystalized Pikachu Sitting Edition is now available online, offering fans one last chance to purchase a piece from this groundbreaking collaboration.

Photo by Arsham Editions

A lot of early work that Arsham did was about the manipulation of the walls. One of his famous works that I personally admire is ‘ Pulling Falling Clock’ (2023). It is a sculpture inspired by larger works from his ‘Elastic Wall’ series that playfully test our perception of architectural surfaces. The work creates the illusion of time falling through space, expressing the speed of time flow. He exhibited the work at his “20 Years” exhibition at Perrotin Gallery in New York.

 

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Arsham has lately been using mixed materials such as bronze, stainless steel and carved wood in his sculptures. One of his most recognised mixed material works is his collaboration with Tiffany & Co. to create the ‘Venus of Arles’ bust sculpture, inspired by the ‘Bronze Eroded Venus of Arle’ art piece. Other mixed-material sculptures that stood out included ‘Amalgamized Bust of Melpomene‘ (2023) that exhibited at Perrotin Gallery. It takes a lot of time to blend them well since the shrinkage rates of each material are different, and there is a sense of both history and freshness that is associated a mythical contemporary archaeology.

 

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As a multidisciplinary artist, Arsham also creates a wide range of furniture pieces in addition to creating sculptures and held his first furniture exhibition “Objects for Living” in 2019. This was followed by his second furniture exhibition in 2021, “Objects for Living: Collection II”, showcasing furniture pieces inspired by motifs from his daily life. The collection included items such as chairs, benches, floor lamps, desk lamps, and more. One of my favourite furniture pieces is what I call a “doughnut chair”, a Pebbles Armchair’ (2021).

 

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Prestigious museums and galleries around the world have exhibited Daniel Asham’s work. Apart from checking out his artworks at places like Tiffany & Co.’s Fifth Avenue boutique, this year, Arsham has held his first photography exhibition “Phases” at the Fotografiska Museum NYC, which features a range of never-before-seen works and will be open until 13 June. Besides that, he is also having a solo exhibition in Venice titled “VENICE 3024″, which will be on view through September 15th. Other than that, the artist also announced in his latest Instagram post about his first exhibition in Thailand, “BANGKOK 3024” that will be open until 14 July. 

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