Magali Reus’ sculptures are accumulations of images and things. She draws on objects she finds around her, recombining them into something strange and unfamiliar. Although a keen observer of the physical world, Reus avoids using readymade objects. Instead, each element of her sculptural jigsaws has been meticulously fabricated using a mixture of technological and traditionally craft-based techniques. Colors, materials, textures, sizes, and shapes are all manipulated, throwing everyday habits of association into disarray. As a result, the viewer is invited to question the way objects may take on — or shed — meanings.
For example, in her series of sculptures Mustard, Magali Reus used complex techniques to process a variety of synthetic materials, including fabrics and leather. As a result, she has created sculptural forms that avoid direct references to existing objects. However, her sculptures still evoke associations with saddles, motorcycles, or blankets.
Her works include both a strong physical and simultaneously unsettling presence. For instance, the way she enlarges the (animal) forms contains elements of camp and the grotesque. Their complex material composition and exuberant ornamentation repurpose decorative impulse into something that at first glimpse appears functional or utilitarian.
Through this use of seemingly everyday objects and images, Reus’ work initially evokes a sense of familiarity. And only upon closer scrutiny that the hidden complexity of her works unfolds. Reus adopts an almost obsessive approach of layering and repetition of visual elements, with a resultant crisis of definition that leads to her works to emerge as more personified or simply abstract entities.