Clockwise from top left: "Wilfred Has a Think" photograph is a self-portrait with a wild thing mask, photographed while in Powell, Wyo. as a visiting artist. A series of Habeck's "business animal" watercolors. "Zombie Doughnut" is a four-foot-tall sculpture for the Dawn of the Donut shop in Spokane, Wash. made from foam, wood, clay, epoxy, wire mesh and resin.
another-worldly feel. Many of his sculptures involve animals, real and imagined. In high school, he carved his first “creature head,” a falcon, Skyview High School’s mascot, created for a school spirit day parade. To create his creatures, he often relies on lightweight insulation foam covered with the air-drying clay used by taxidermists. One mask, worn for a self-portrait, looks inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. “My creatures almost always are sad,” he said. “It’s the shape of their eyes.”
For a donut shop in Spokane, he created a 4-foot tall zombie donut with blood-shot eyes and a purple jelly brain. For a mall in Michigan, he created 83 woodland animals, a summer’s worth of sculpting. Last year, Habeck was one of six artists selected to wrap traffic signal boxes downtown. His work, across from the Alberta Bair Theater on North Broadway, features a moose, bear and birds, all wearing old-fashioned business suits. His “business animal” watercolor series started as birthday cards for his friends. The first was a blue bison. Since then, he’s done a couple dozen business animals, personifying each animal, and then imagining the kind of clothes they’d wear. Most recently, three of Habeck’s business animals served as invitations and posters for HRDC’s Play Date at the Zoo in June, a chance for young families to learn about child care scholarships and other resources.
To see some of Louis Habeck’s work, look for the wrapped traffic signal box across from the Alberta Bair Theater, on the northeast corner of North Broadway and Third Avenue North. His show at the Plaza Diane in Powell, Wyo., July 10 through August 2, features a photographic portrait series of artists in their studios and sculptures. You can also view his work online at LouisHabeck.daportfolio.com or on subborealstudios.tumblr.com.
MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE I JULY/AUGUST I 17
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