Her work recently appeared in the book, “100 Sculptors of Tomorrow” by Kurt Beers and the Brooklyn-based artist was selected as one of five national and international artists for an article in the London-based luxury lifestyle magazine,“Square Mile.”
Antar was once referred to by the “Daily News” as “Brooklyn’s answer to Andy Warhol,” and her work has also prompted comparisons with Claes Oldenburg and Jeff Koons. She brings Pop art to stone, creating a visual record of American contemporary culture through commonplace objects with a distinct flavor of hyperrealism.
Meticulously carved in stone, a bottle of Heinz ketchup, a hamburger with fries and a giant hot dog on a bun with a bite taken out of it are among some of Antar’s lasting monuments to modern American life.
One of her most powerfully symbolic sculptures- titled “North Tower 9-11”- commemorates the September 11 attack on New York’s Twin Towers: an 800-pound white marble sculpture of a crumpled bag with colorful M&M’s spilling out of it.
Antar began sculpting in 1974, as a means of coping with her family’s move to the then-unfamiliar streets of Brooklyn from Atlantic City when she was 16. Two years later, doctors discovered she had been blind in one eye since birth.
Rather than be discouraged, Antar used the compromised vision in her right eye as a tool to explore the depths of abstraction in her sculptures.
In 1981, Antar received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She continued to create concept-centered works that were deeply rooted in personal emotion for more than a decade before turning to realism.
Antar’s “Realism in Stone” series quickly gained notoriety, as she received commissions to carve stone replicas of products for companies around the world, including Skechers, Dr. Martens, Stella Artois and Château Haut-Brion.
Most recently, the artist has begun a series of work representing America’s current political environment. A larger-than-life version of the white “Make America Great Again” golf cap Donald Trump wore on the 2016 campaign trail prompted so much controversy on social media that she had to remove photos of the artwork from her website and Instagram page for months.
Antar is currently working on a four-foot-high marble and granite sculpture of “The U.S. Constitution in a Knot,” a powerful visual representation of America’s current political turmoil. The sculpture is expected to be finished by the spring for a future exhibition that will include the MAGA campaign hat and a pair of boxing gloves with the title “Win the Fight,” the rallying cry of both sides of the current political spectrum.
Despite the direction of her latest work and the reactions it received, Antar considers herself more of an “artist-observer” rather than a political activist.
“These latest sculptures,” she said in a statement, “express all the craziness that is going on in our history, not as a political statement but as an observation of events and trends.”
“I still create abstract pieces,” Antar continues. “I sometimes need to breathe my emotions into the grooves of my work. It’s a different process than the realism series. In both cases, however, my passion is to create virtual records of cultural and personal events that have impacted me greatly.”
Antar continues to live and work in Brooklyn. Her sculptures have been exhibited in national and international galleries and museums. A full portfolio of pieces can be viewed at www.rantar.com.