Figurative Art Philosophy

Philosophy of figurative approach, and example work.

Diana Folded. 1/4 life-size. 1998
On the human figure...
form and expression
The difficulty of mastering the figure is prohibitive to contemporary investigation and so has faded from the academic standard. This has inevitably led to an inability of the modern practitioner to ascertain the figure, while response to contemporary investigation is blanket anachronism. In my practice, the rigor of addressing the figure is an essential driver of ongoing maturity, and traditional materials and technique are essential aspects of this discourse.  The original sculpture must embody technical and aesthetic mastery to sustain sublimation, and this transfers across media: for example Michelangelo's Laurentian Library or the Dome of St.Peter's, and Bernini's Collonade. 

Just as music can change heart rate and color can shape mood, the medium of the sculpted figure engenders autonomic sympathetic response in an immediate emotive relationship with the viewer. 

My approach to sculpting the figure is an intuitive process grounded in practice with the live model, familiarity with anatomical structure, formal concern, and media. The figure acts as a challenging vehicle for exploration: rhythm, balance, and gesture are the core signifiers I engage with, allowing anatomy and naturalism to serve as a secondary consideration to expression. Expression of the figure emerges from the act of sculpting in relation to the model, rather than stylization or thematic narrative. Through focus on practice, a more nuanced emotive dialogue may occur- similar to a complex color phrase or musical harmony.
Diana Folded. Front view. 1998
Orpheus & Eurydice. 2/3 Life Size. 2001
Orpheus & Eurydice, side view. 2/3 Life Size. 2001
This is a 1/3 life size sculpture from the live model, finished January 2014. She holds a heavy ball and stands with feet at different heights while twisting pushing structural issues of dynamic skeletal-musculature systems.
Figure Study from New Masters Academy with Eric Michael Wilson: June 2013
Ecorche study. 1/3 life size. 2014
Ecorche study: detail. 1/3 life size. 2014
Ecorche study: detail. 1/3 life size. 2014
Ecorche study: detail. 1/3 life size. 2014
Ecorche study. 1/3 life size. 2014
Ecorche study. 1/3 life size. 2014
Shawn. 1/2 Life-Size. 2000
Michelle. 1/2 Life-Size. 2000.
Jeni. 1/2 Life-Size. 2001
2/3 Life-Size. 2001
Persephone in Spring. Bronze. 1991  This was the final figure I created in my first undergrad figure sculpture class with John Berland. He liked the sculpture enough to show me how to create a plaster waste-mold so I could create a bronze casting in the college foundry where I worked as an assistant. 
Life Study in Ceramic clay. Young Male. 2000
Life Study in Ceramic clay. Middle Age Male. 2000
3 Graces. Hand-Made paper. 2000
 The Existentialist. Mixed Media. 2007.
The Existentialist: side view
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