Scott Radke


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Scott Radke
07 Monday 07th November 2011

Main image: Mumums

Bird #6

To start with, we'd love to know more about your artistic background: are you formally trained, or did you teach yourself sculpture?

For the most part I am self trained but I have taken a lot of extremely helpful life drawing courses at community colleges.

Which stories or images have inspired your work most, would you say?

I've always been inspired by Where the Wild Things Are and pretty much everything else Maurice Sendak has done. I do not really have one specific thing that's inspired what I do - It's easy to just say nature but there is more to it than that. Life in general. My wife, having a child.

Some work in progress

What's been one of the best reactions you've had when someone's seen the marionettes for the first time?

I don't have a favorite or specific reaction that really stands out. I remember being upset when most people would take them as goth or dark - even though I totally understand why, I just never saw them exactly that way.

What do you hope viewers take away from your exhibitions (for example, the Burlap show most recently)?

I just hope it excites them, makes them want to create. I enjoy seeing how people react to my work good or bad. Once I am finished with it it's pretty much on its own. Everyone sees art differently I think and they connect with it on their own personal levels. You never know what you're going to get and that's fun.

Flyer #2 - 2011

There's a certain cinematic quality to the marionettes too. Have you ever considered translating them into moving 3D imagery too? If so why, and if not why not?

I would love to try that. In the end I am only left with my photography. 99% of my work gets sold so when I can do more with them outside the original sculpture I am all for it. Seeing them come alive on screen would be exciting. I just need to be in the right place at the right time and find the right folks to work with, I guess.

Flower #1

How much does the city and scene around you tend to affect your pace and style of work?

Not much at all really. When I was first starting out I was very into the local art scene here. I miss it a lot sometimes. I also moved a little outside the city so I have not been doing any murals or graffiti - its pretty much me, my basement, and my garden right now but that is more inspiring than it sounds trust me.

Which of the marionettes is your favourite?

I don't really have a favourite - maybe the first one that I made for my wife.

Untitled #1 (is it just me or is this one kinda cute?)

And what's next on your agenda?

I have a large commission I am doing for Morgan Spurlock.

To find out more about Scott's past and future work, head to his site and Flickr profile.

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at and we will respond asap.