New York-based artist Christopher Conte draws on his diverse skills and experience while using a range of materials and construction techniques to make his spectacular sculptures, including the cast bronze insects that he has christened “Duellona”.
Designed, engineered and constructed by Conte, these creatures feature articulated legs, hooked antennae and riveted exoskeleton over a two-part body consisting of cast bronze semi-spheres engraved with gothic motifs.
While much of the fine detail of these motifs is captured in the casting process, master firearms engraver Michael Dubber hand-engraves their form for a particularly crisp appearance. Underneath the main body, Conte has placed a watch movement to symbolise the inner workings of this mechanised creature. One sculpture can often take months to create.
Born in Bergen, Norway and raised in New York, Conte earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art before working in prosthetics for 16 years, making artificial limbs for amputees. During this time, he worked in obscurity creating sculptures reflecting his love of biomechanics, anatomy and robotics. In 2008, Conte left his job as a certified prosthetist to begin his career as a full-time artist.
With his in-depth knowledge of the human body, Conte has created steampunk android skulls, cyborgian arms and mechanical hearts. Now, with the likes of “Duellona”, he has shown he is equally adept at depicting the animal world in his inimitable sculptural style.
The M.A.D.Gallery is showcasing “Duellona” in three different versions: white bronze or yellow bronze – both available in a limited edition of 10 numbered pieces – and a unique piece in patina-rich bronze with red garnet gemstone.