Art Seen

One Artist Cleverly Brings Emojis From The Screen To The Shelf

"Sculptures are usually quite serious …"

By now, you're probably used to using emojis as a form of communication, but artist Ben Fearnley's turning emojis into a different form of art. 

Fearnley — a professional, award-winning designer, who specializes in 3-D, illustration, and typography — tells A Plus in an email that he was inspired by art at a young age. 

"This naturally led to it becoming a hobby of mine, so I studied graphic design and also did a lot of illustration on the side. I knew from the age of around 15 that art and design were what I wanted to make a career out of, so [I] worked hard to make this happen." Fearnley finished his education, worked in England, and, two years ago, moved to New York City. 

Among other projects, Fearnley has created a digital art series entitled Sculptmojis, which plays "on the mix of traditional sculpture art forms with modern emojis," it says on his website

"It recently occurred to me how the emoji symbols are so widely used as a universal language and clearly communicate how someone is feeling or expressing themselves at that point in time in such a simple way," Fearnley tells A Plus. Fearnley adds that he's always found sculpture at interesting, particularly when multiple statutes are positioned together to tell a story. 

"So I thought it could be a clever and playful juxtaposition to have something old mixed with something new to create a unique piece of work with a twist."

Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design

"I like the fact that you can put an emoji on anything and it suddenly becomes fun," Fearnley adds. "A lot of sculptures are usually quite serious in their appearance, so this was an interesting way to lighten this up. Through CGI ... I was able to bring these symbols away from where they are usually seen in the world of text message communication and bring them to life." 

For example, in one image captioned "When you forget to take out insurance on your new iPhone," Fearnley shows four emojis with negative emotions sculpted together and looking down at a shattered smartphone. It's one of Fearnley's favorites, he says.

Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design

Another one of the artist's favorite pieces is one featuring two emoji figures: a male figure with hearts over its eyes looks at another female figure that's clearly sleeping. It's captioned, "Next."

Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design

Fearnley says he hopes people both appreciate his work from a technical standpoint and from a creative standpoint. "[I hope that] they find it visually interesting, but more so [that] they find the humor and concept amusing and can relate to it."

You can check out more of Fearnley's work below, on his website, and on Instagram.

Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design
Photo Credit: Ben Fearnley Design

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