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Ann Hirsch


The series of nine three-quarter life size figures was modeled from life, from both male and female models, and incorporates a contemporary approach to installation as well as Gothic iconography. The crouching figures recall gargoyles that were originally intended to project water away from medieval cathedrals as well as to ward off evil spirits while protecting their congregations.

These gargoyles borrow gestures from their medieval predecessors. Gurning, for instance, was a facepulling competition (still played today) that began in the Lakes District in England and inspired the postures of regional gargoyles.  Open mouthed or waterspout gargoyles are particularly common in French architecture of the Middle Ages. The Watchers are in the guise of human beings but somehow miss the mark. These aggressively confrontational figures perch above the viewer’s eye, suggesting mammalian birds ready to pounce.


The Watchers are featured in Margaret McCann et al.’s “The Figure: Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture” (Skira Rizzoli, September 23, 2014) which you can purchase here.

Media and dimensions: Reinforced plaster, 3/4 life-size
Photography by Chris Yeager, Mark Hutchinson and Ann Hirsch