Brazilian contemporary artist Monica Piloni specializes in sculpture, with a particular emphasis on the human form. The figures she crafts are often unsettling, resembling amorphous entities. Since 2004, she has employed a mirror effect, a technique that introduces another dimension to the perception of the human figure.
Piloni’s initial ventures into this realm saw her apply the repetitive mirror effect to a standing female figure. She dissected a fiberglass dummy of a human form, reassembling it in unique configurations. Later, she transitioned to creating molds directly from her body, turning them into self-portraits. This shift not only offered more creative freedom — given the ever-ready anatomical model — but also led to increasingly intricate and refined sculptures. What began as a convenient self-portrait eventually took on more significance in her work.
Indeed, Piloni’s portraits emerged from the ‘most readily available and cost-effective living model’ — herself. Yet, many women began to see themselves in Monica Piloni’s sculptures. In essence, her pieces evolved into a symbolic representation of women at large. Monica soon recognized her art as a collective narrative, emphasizing art’s powerful role in driving social change.
The work of Monica Piloni challenges the restrictive molds women are often pressured into, whether these are behavioral or aesthetic standards. Such norms, perpetuated by a patriarchal society, lead to both psychological and physical distress. Moreover, she explores the interplay between technology and perceptions of the real versus the virtual body. She touches upon the cyber realm’s unique celebration of bodies that deviate from conventional aesthetic standards.