Sculpture Award Winners 2019

Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize


3rd Prize Winner: Adam Matano

3rd Prize Winner

Adam Matano

“Rascal” [Bronze, 82 x 36 x 21″]

Adam Matano is a contemporary representational sculptor specializing in sculpting animals. His work is an organically evolving process combining a visceral reaction to life, his interest and admiration for the natural world and our relationship with it. The exploration of these ideas allows for psychologically dense, rhythmic artwork. Adam’s interest and involvement with nature and the arts began at a young age. Early in his career, he nurtured his musical interests, which now play an integral part in his overall aesthetic, its principles echoing in his sculptures. More recently, Adam won the Marilyn Newmark Grant from the National Sculpture Society, of which he is an Elected Member. He is also a signature artist member of the Society of Animal Artists as well as the California Art Club where he recently showed at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Currently, Adam works and lives in Los Angeles, exhibiting his sculptures and teaching.

“Rascal”: Rascal was initially inspired by a California condor named Dolly who lives at the Los Angeles Zoo. Dolly broke her wing before she could fly. After many attempts to fix her wing, unfortunately it could not be fixed. Condors are incredibly social and because she couldn’t be with her own kind, she was not maturing properly. Now, she spends most days perched in the condor office, with humans. She is very picky about who she trusts, but she has a place and social status and is maturing well. She was definitely one of my favourite animals to meet and sculpt up close. She was the perfect model for my sculptural idea.

2nd Prize Winner: Jessica Dalva

2nd Prize Winner

Jessica Dalva

“As Dusk Would Fall” [Mixed media sculpture, 9 x 14 x 9″]

Californian artist Jessica Dalva completed her art studies in 2009 with a focus on illustration. Since then she has been involved in painting and sculpture, sewing theatre costumes, in stage design, stop motion animation and puppetry. Jessica is constantly on the lookout for new challenges and experiences and has already created a diverse and impressive oeuvre. Jessica’s mother, also a sculptor, introduced her to the secrets of the art form as a child and is still the artist’s greatest role model today. Most of Jessica’s works are made of Super Sculpey Polymer Clay, with a variety of additional materials, such as vintage ephemera, fabric, mohair, beads, and found objects. She is adept at developing authentic gestural forms of expression and exaggerating the realism of her sculptures with distorted or repetitive details.

“As Dusk Would Fall”: This is a mixed media sculpture in which the sun sets on three hounds and a woman, as golden twisted threads radiate from her chest. This piece illustrates the potential for goodness in humans. Although many have chosen destructive paths, there is hope if we pour our energy into positive actions.

1st Prize Winner: Akishi Ueda

surreal figurative dragon sculpture by Akishi Ueda

1st Prize Winner

Akishi Ueda

“The Prayer of Sunset Dog” [Stone powder clay, Acrylic paint, mixed media, 65 x 85 x 45cm]

Born in Japan in 1991, 28 year old Akishi Ueda uses clay to express strange scenery. Akishi graduated from Aichi Prefecture Nagoya Art Institure of Technology’s Art Creator course in 2013 and went on to participate in and win multiple awards in different competitions throughout their career after graduating, including being the Excellence Award Winner of the TURNER AWARD (2012), and the Grand Prix Winner of the Art Competition “Tatsukon 2012 The Final!” (2013). Akishi has also participated in many group and solo exhibitions around the world, and even launched a crowd fund campaign to support the creation of new works, achieving the funding goal in just one day.

“The Prayer of Sunset Dog”: A boy and a sunset dog are standing on a legged city. The night is about to be born from the back of the sunset dog. The theme is “the passage of time and the sadness that accompanies it”. I want to express the moment of transition from sunset to night in this piece.

Thank you & Acknowledgements

Congratulations to the 2019 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize Sculpture Award Winners, Akishi Ueda, Jessica Dalva and Adam Matano!

I would like to take a moment to thank all of the artists who entered, sharing their work and their artistic passion with us. It was such a pleasure to immerse myself in the work of so many creatives from all corners of the globe and read their inspirational stories. Thank you also to all the artists that entered last year and again this year, a number of which happily won in 2019!

As Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief I have the pleasure and honour of curating each issue of the magazine and curating our yearly exhibitions! The many wonderful and talented Art Prize entries we received have given me a plethora of new ideas and choices to pursue in future. I will also be taking the opportunity to share many of the amazing entries submitted over the coming months on our social media platforms, as I truly believe that all of these artists deserve more recognition and promotion of their work.  So thank you again for your interest in the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, I very much hope to see how your work has grown and developed in next year’s Prize.

I would also like to sincerely thank the 2019 Jury Panel, particularly the Sculpture Category Judge Crystal Morey, who gave her time and expertise to the panel, the other Category Judges: Tom Bagshaw [Digital Art], Jeremy Geddes [Traditional Art], Haris Nukem [Photography]; representatives from our amazing sponsors INPRNT and Stocksy United, Directors of Haven Gallery Erica and Joseph, and of course to my partner, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine‘s Co-Founder Richard Purssey. The judging process was extremely difficult with so many exceptional entries, so thank you again!

Finally I would like to once again extend my thanks to this year’s Sculpture Award sponsors listed below. It is through your generosity that the Sculpture Award Winners will be able to enrich their practice. ~ Danijela Krha Purssey, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine.

Sculpture Award

The Sculpture Award 1st Prize Winner will receive:

  • Participation in the Beautiful Bizarre curated exhibition at Haven Gallery (New York), December 2019 – January 2020
  • US$1,000 cash [non acquisitive] generously donated by Beautiful Bizarre Magazine
  • US$1,000 gift voucher from Blick Art Materials
  • 1 year unlimited subscription to the Stan Winston School, including unlimited access to the Course Library by the Masters of FX. Also includes exclusive access to Stan Winston Studio Behind-the-Scenes Documentary stream.
  • 3 month Social Media advertising package (Beautiful Bizarre Magazine: 980,000+ followers across all socials platforms)
  • Exclusive in-depth interview published on the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize and Beautiful Bizarre Magazine websites + shared on social media

2nd and 3rd Prize Winners will receive:

  • 12 month print subscription to Beautiful Bizarre Magazine to inspire their practice
  • An exclusive in-depth interview published on the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize and Beautiful Bizarre Magazine websites.


21 Oct 2019: Sculpture Award Winners announced
22 Oct 2019: Stocksy United Photography Award Winners announced
23 Oct 2019: Digital Art Award Winners announced
24 Oct 2019: INPRNT Traditional Art Award Winners announced
25 Oct 2019: Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize 1st Prize Winner, Honourable Mentions & People’s Choice Winners announced
14 Dec 2019: Awards presentation and opening reception of the Beautiful Bizarre curated exhibition ‘Ritual’ at Haven Gallery, Northport, New York USA. (1st Prize Winners will contribute an original work in keeping with the ‘Ritual’ theme)
12 Jan 2020: ‘Ritual’ exhibition at Haven Gallery closes.