Urs Fischer Bliss, 2017. Oil-based modeling clay, encaustic pigment, stainless steel, polyurethane foam, spruce wood. Overall dimensions: 114 x 124 1/8 x 72 1/8 inches. © Urs Fischer. Courtesy of the artist.

If you ever wanted to collaborate on a sculpture with pop idol Katy Perry and Swiss artist Urs Fischer, now is your chance.

The duo is inviting your participation in Bliss, a sculpture of Perry in plasticine. Underneath the white, malleable surface is modeling clay in a rainbow of colors, so that visitors can—at least metaphorically—pull out parts of the pop singer’s innards and splash them all over the walls. The work is on view in New York at a temporarily disused space at 39 Spring Street in SoHo.

Perry wanted Fischer to create a sculpture to grace the cover of her record Witness, released in June and featuring the singles “Chained to the Rhythm,” “Swish Swish,” and “Bon Appétit.” Perry has sold upwards of 100 million records worldwide, placing her among the best-selling artists of all time; she has been nominated for 12 Grammy Awards.

Urs Fischer, Bliss, 2017. Oil-based modeling clay, encaustic pigment, stainless steel, polyurethane foam, spruce wood. Overall dimensions: 114 x 124 1/8 x 72 1/8 inches.
© Urs Fischer. Courtesy of the artist.

Fischer has made a habit out of inviting the public to modify his works—or asking museum-goers to create objects along with him. In a 2013 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, he invited some 1,500 visitors to create clay sculptures along with him and his studio staff. Versions of some of the resulting sculptures later went on view in a Gagosian show.

Inviting public participation was freeing, Fischer told Art in America in 2014, referring to the LA show. “It was out of control, not controlled like in the studio, where you might overthink things,” he said. “It’s about making things, in the broadest possible way.”

Some of Fischer’s works change shape and break down on their own, including sculptures in the form of candles reproducing classic works of art. Other pieces take the form of portraits of collectors or fellow artists. Regardless of the genre, the artist’s work has clearly found traction in the market, having fetched as much as $6.8 million at Christie’s New York in 2011.

“Bliss” is on view at 39 Spring Street in SoHo, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, through December 31.


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