The anti-heroic sculpture of Ross Bonfanti is energised by a tension between the delicate and the sturdy, the fixed and the flexible. With tufted birds dangling precariously from wrought-iron bars, teddies stacked in haphazard towers and woodland bears balanced on rusted cans, expectations of weight, weightlessness, texture and form are fully de-stabilised.
Bonfanti's concreatures are created from cement, hardware materials and found soft toys, all collected in the artist’s native Toronto. But even as he redefines their sumptuous bodies and studs them with nails and screws, Bonfanti deliberately retains the toys’ fluffy seams, their felt noses and their glass eyes. The sculptures stand in a striking state of in-between: Fortified for modernity and urbanity, the charm of a bygone age still lingers.
Bonfanti's work is eagerly sought by major collectors in America and the UK. He has work in several public and corporate collections in Canada, as well as in the Hirshhorn Museum, at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington.