Towering over two metres in height, January is a fantastical apparition from David Altmejd’s series of twelve standing figures, named for the months of the year. From a virtuosic amalgamation of media – including plaster, wire, mirror, glass, synthetic hair, paint and glitter – a hybrid humanoid vision takes shape. Executed in 2008, and included in the artist’s 2015 solo exhibition Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the work bears witness to his fascination with the dialogue between growth and decay. His biomorphic creations, captured in states of mutation, crystallization and transformation, seek to give form to the raw pulsations of organic evolution. Evoking botanical, geological and animal forms as much as human flesh, Altmejd’s works thrive on the tension between the sublime and the grotesque. ‘What’s most important for me is to create objects that feel alive’, Altmejd explains. ‘Transformation is just one aspect of the work. I also use the strategies of contrast and tension – for example, contrast within an object creates a tension that creates an energy that makes the object look like it is alive’ (D. Altmejd, quoted in interview with R. M. Vaughan, Globe and Mail, 20 March 2012). With its visceral form both monstrous and enthralling, January speaks directly to this statement.