Cosima von Bonin

Biography of Cosima von Bonin

Cosima von Bonin's stuffed animals have become emblematic of her practice; lazy fluffy creatures populate her shows in attitudes of repose and recreation, from sloths to mussels on skateboards to octopi on beach towels. Von Bonin's craft is deceptively superficial, and beneath its layers of playfulness there is a palpable sense of something more sinister lurking beneath the surface. The artist hangs her trademark toys on what look like meat hooks in a butcher-like fashion and once stated that "I have two French bulldogs and just like Yves Saint Laurent's bulldog they get a stuffed toy to tear apart every day." A subtle sense of menace or violence sometimes penetrates the floppy oversized animals of Cosima von Bonin's work, although it is barely ever articulated or articulate.


Born in 1962 in Kenya and raised in Austria, Cosima von Bonin now lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Her work has been shown in such renowned institutions as the Tate Liverpool, MOCA, Los Angeles, and the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, as well as at documenta 12. Von Bonin's comic-inspired figures have charmed the public collections of MoMA, New York, the Sammlung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, and the Stedelijk Museum CS, Amsterdam.

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