Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark grew up surrounded by curious and creative family members which led her to extend her interest in visual arts by pursuing a fine art higher education at Central Saint Martins and Chelsea School of Art. During these formative years, D’Clark kept exploring techniques and forms, juggling different mediums such as painting, drawing, and photography. Her investigations of various visual languages drove her to pursue the possibilities of hyperrealism. Fascinated by the human form—and especially the human face—D’Clark decided to transform traditional portraiture into mask-like tridimensional sculptures. In order to achieve this unique life-like bodily realism D’Clark ended up creating her own process. Combining live casting and 3D printing, she produced detailed human-like sculptures—sometimes including human hair or made-for-human elements such as nail varnish.
Her first notable work, Untitled (2016) was the result of a three-month long methodological pursuit involving prepping her sitter’s skin, using latex silicon to make a mould, and then recasting back to silicon. Silicone pigments and Sleek make-up would enable her to render in the most accurate way skin colour: reproducing, in all its complexity, shades, and tones. Inspired by a close circle of peers, friends, and family members, and motivated by the idea of portraying kinship, D’Clark first worked with sitters she knew well—which led her to describe her practice as “sculpting with eyes closed and mind open”. Acquainted with the sitters’ features, she creates a collection of true-to-nature silicon sculptures that enable her to play with the power of representation and perceptions of both race and gender.
Aware that monuments and public sculptures are never of women of colour, D’Clark wants to celebrate her anonymous peers: commemorating hidden figures in the public realm, which she most recently explored through three large scale public artworks, commissioned for permanent display in the United States, 2023. Influenced by body politics theory, she proposes observing the uniqueness of individuals, going beyond mass considerations of communities. D’Clark’s practice is also playful and her sculptures oscillate between uncanny realness to other-worldly colourful visages. Using scale and size, her work is a reflection of the uniqueness of our multiple selves. D’Clark’s uses intersectional thinking to craft a complex and contemporary representation of Womxnhood.
Follow Rayvenn Shaleigha D'Clark on Instagram@rayvenndclark_art