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We interview Wilfrid Wood, a funny and ironic Londoner who started studying Graphic Design at Central St Martins but ended up as a head constructor – for a TV show first and for himself now, hired by a publisher in between. His work has been featured in different magazines, shows and exhibitions, but he is also in the internet wave. The reality of his sculptures –playing with emotion and aspect– really catches people’s eye. They can be identified straightaway, whether they are famous personalities or simply people of his taste – usually shameless, and a bit freaky. You might be the next one!
Self-taught and independent sculptor. Have you always been that individual? Do you like this lifestyle?
I’m not really a team player. I do my own thing and people commission me knowing that.
Working for a publisher wasn’t your thing, but would you highlight something from that experience?
I don’t regret that time at all, it taught me to get up in the morning, deal with other people, use computers, meet deadlines.
Do you get bored easily, even with your own work? Does it happen that you start sculpting or drawing and you don’t want to do it anymore or completely change the direction of the original idea?
Certainly! I am a very fidgety person. Sometimes I start a sculpture as one thing and it ends up as something else. Knowing when to stop fiddling is half the battle with any creative endeavour. You must finish things; only then can the work be judged. Otherwise projects remain a dream, you fantasize about how fabulous things might have been. As Mrs. Thatcher said, “anyone can start something but not everyone can finish it.”

Your inspiration comes mainly from the street, the magazines and also the web.
Which source is your favourite or the most worthwhile?
At the moment it’s Instagram. I’m constantly amazed by the ingenuity and invention on parade. Just when you think every photo has been taken, every joke made, someone on Instagram comes up with a startling image. I love the sexy boys who doll themselves up and take narcissistic selfies. My hero is someone called @beigetype who covers his face in snails and dresses up with plastic shopping bags.
What kind of people are you most attracted to?
I’m attracted to people completely opposite to me – cool, beautiful, thin, awful, bitchy fashionistas.
You always look for attitude and details. What about the expression, gestures?
Every sculpted expression is an attempt to convey something about the person. Even a completely blank expression. It’s a great challenge to try and sculpt someone pulling a face, looking excited, bored, or mysterious. Pure joy is the most difficult to show, as in real life.

“Pure joy is the most difficult emotion to show in a sculpture, as in real life.”
Do you prefer to create an accurate representation of the person’s appearance or use half of what you see and half of your imagination?
My sculptures are not accurate, but I do have a boring tendency to get caught up making something too naturalistic. It always results in a dull, lifeless sculpture.
“I have my own fashion” – do you follow it as you follow people?
I think my clothes are like my sculptures – a bit all over the place. One day I wake up thinking I want to look like a Victorian carpenter, the next like a skateboarder. In reality I’m neither, but I’m a wannabe lots of things. The Woody Allen film Zelig describes this perfectly.
Since you like snaps, are you going to keep us updated in the new Instagram stories?
What is this stories I keep seeing? I don’t understand it. They should leave Instagram EXACTLY AS IT IS. It’s about the users, not the platform.

Patricia Ramos

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