If you’re familiar with Wilfrid Wood’s work, you’ll know that he sculpts faces from plasticine. From Justin Bieber to David Bowie, no-one is too famous for the Hackney Wick artist’s satirical contortions, and no-one too good-looking to be taken down a peg or two. But for a new exhibition at Space Gallery this month, Wilfrid has leant his finely honed observation skills to a different medium – drawing.
“I’ll draw anyone,” he says. “Sometimes a very dull looking person walks through the door, and I think ‘what the hell can I do with that?’ But mysteriously I end up with a good drawing. Other times someone spectacular sits for me, and I do a crap drawing. It’s impossible to pre-judge.”
Training as a “head builder” for Spitting Image, it’s unsurprising that Wilfrid’s plasticine creations demonstrate a wit that must make even the most emotionally secure wince. From Paul McCartney’s mouth puckered like an anus to Harry Redknapp’s cavernously sunken eyes, Wilfrid’s take on the human face is both cutting and charming – a fact that has led to commissions from the likes of The New Yorker, Vice and Colette.
Showing a more tender side, these drawings – all done from life – are intimate snapshots of some of the people he’s met. On show at Space Gallery in Hackney until the end of July. To find out more, visit wilfridwood.com.