Wurm is known for his humorous approach to formalism. About the use of humor in his work, Wurm says in an interview: “If you approach things with a sense of humor, people immediately assume you’re not to be taken seriously. But I think truths about society and human existence can be approached in different ways. You don’t always have to be deadly serious. Sarcasm and humor can help you see things in a lighter vein.
“I am interested in the everyday life. All the materials that surrounded me could be useful, as well as the objects, topics involved in contemporary society. My work speaks about the whole entity of a human being: the physical, the spiritual, the psychological and the political.”
In the series ‘One Minute Sculptures’ by Erwin Wurm, viewers are asked to do more than merely look at the museum artworks surrounding them, but to experience the artworks and themselves in new ways. In the form of drawings or brief written directions, the visitor is instructed and encouraged to become an artwork – a ‘One Minute Sculpture’ – for the duration of sixty seconds
Although the images are slightly humorous, they extend or manipulate reality in ways that can be disturbing. Wurm’s work portrays manipulated images of things in everyday life, things that look familiar, but which become distorted. “I will often use humor to seduce people”, admits Wurm. “To get them to move closer, but it’s never very nice when they look closer.”
Wurm’s work is often critical of Western society and the mentality and lifestyle of his childhood during post-World War II Austria. Although Wurm’s sculptures are humorous and ridiculous, they are actually quite serious. His criticism is playful, but should not be confused with kindness. He represents his criticism of objects, such as clothing, furniture, cars, houses, and everyday objects to his audience. Common themes in his work include not only our relationship to banal everyday objects, but also philosophers like Freud, and life in postwar Austria.
In below “Bad Thougt” 2016 , Wurm make some artwork or object, bag or package it was similar with these form, Wurm use model and moulding for technique and execution by metal and patina coloured. It like mysterius package, uncommon and feel something hidden.
“It’s about the difficulty to cope with life. Whether with diet or with a philosophy”
Erwin Wurm “shrank” his parents’ house to reflect the mentality of Austria during the postwar period; the design of the house is typical of the 1950s, but a fraction as wide. The house is furnished with shrunken furniture. This piece was inspired by Wurm’s childhood, since he grew up during the 1950s through 1970s in postwar Austria.
Growing up, he lived with his parents; his mother stayed at home and his father was a policeman. Therefore, it was difficult to express himself both at school and at home. This limited view has affected Wurm’s philosophy of art strongly, and Narrow House is a physical manifestation of it. When the viewers walk through, they feel the tension and claustrophobia that Wurm experienced on a daily basis as a child.