Skinheart
Daniel Ortega

Year: 2017
Medium: Polyester resin, acrylic resin, natural rock
Dimensions: 65.5 x 50 cm · 23.6 x 15.7 x 6.3 in

This piece belongs to the series of sculptures ‘Naturaleza oculta. Proceso de deshumanización’ (Hidden nature. Dehumanising process), which explores the impact of cultural and technological development on our conception of human nature and the growing distance from our biological origins.

It consists of a found rock plucked from the Mediterranean coast, almost completely concealed by a pigmented sheet of resin. It envelops the rock like a synthetically-produced exoskeleton, turning the robust mineral structure into a vulnerable body, in need of external protection.

Paradoxically, the covering reveals more than what it hides. Unlike the opaque exterior of shells or carapaces, its transparency allows the permeation of the eye, which manages to ‘strip off’ the protective armour and discern the rough surface of the mineral. Hence, the artist obscures our immediate experience of nature: the synthetic material acts as a dissuasive screen that mediates between us and the rock, enacting the ‘veiling’ or displacement the nature realm endures in our tech-driven world.