Annie’s come across a lot of the weird, wonderful, and wacky in her travels, but one thing that’s guaranteed to stop her in her tracks is an unusual animal-themed piece of art. So when she saw this found-object dog sculpture at a friend’s house, she knew she had to use it in her decorating book, Fresh American Spaces.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when Annie was flipping through the latest World of Interiors. Lo and behold, there’s a feature on the very artist who created that dog sculpture. It turns out that Friedrich Nagler, a Viennese-born, self-taught artist, was an incredibly prolific guy. For more than fifty years, he lived in near obscurity in Hampshire, England, where he crammed his tiny house to the gills with animals, totemic figures, and primitive heads he created out of everything from bread and tin to wrenches, plumbing joints, brass fittings, and nuts and bolts. He also slept in the kitchen on a mattress, stored boxes of teensy carved heads in the larder, and piled his cabinets and tables hoarder-high with doodads, but we suppose that’s a different story. . . .
While Nagler also created some beautiful wood and clay Asian-style figurines, his cheeky, inventive approach to everyday objects really shines in his animal sculptures—a trumpeting elephant, a barking mutt, an attentive Scottie, a snapping shark. In April, for the first time, his work was finally given the exposure it deserves in an exhibit at England & Co. in London.
What do you think? Would you display one of Nagler’s pieces in your home?