The work of Australian sculptor Sam Jinks may haunt you for quite a while. Although they are made from silicon, resin, paint, fiberglass, calcium carbonate and human hair, his hyper-realistic figures look like real humans caught sleeping. It is hard to believe they can’t just wake up and walk away. Jinks recreates all details accurately and painstakingly, creating amazingly anatomically correct characters, each complete with a history embedded into their wrinkles and tattoos.
Captured in private moments, these beautifully serene characters seem to be contemplating their past. Instantly intimate, Jink’s work has a way of using these quiet characters to reflect our own sense of mortality back onto ourselves. From a grandmother holding a new born baby, to a man grieving over a lost relative, or an elderly woman displaying her youthful tattoos on her torso, all of these figures are somehow a reminder that our human bodies disintegrate and decay as wonderfully, beautifully and as easily as they strengthen and grow.
[His] sculptures [have] a powerful presence, which at times is confused with a man’s. This is unusual…. You’d never confuse a Bernini for a real human. You just accept that it’s an illustrious effigy and not a real person. But, as with the realist sculptures of Ron Mueck, the proximity to human textures is uncanny. The slightly puffy belly, the hardness of the ribs, the lankness of the unsupported legs: it’s almost too lifelike. (Source)
Jink’s work fits into a theory of “Uncanny Valley” (an idea relating to robotics, computer animations and body modification) where an inanimate object is uncannily similar to a human, but isn’t actually one. This effect supposedly creates feeling of repulsion and disgust, which could well happen with these sculptures as well. They are unsettling, yes but definitely objects of curiosity.