Sanded, patched, and ready for hard surfacing. For a smooth, even surface of one color.
Much of the sculpture I’m seeing on social media depends on the impact of the juxtapositions of some kind of physical property and/or conceptual context.
Scale, material, art history, and pop culture, collide in a mashup of vision, experience and meaning. Think of a monumental replica bust of Caesar, made of chocolate, upon a column draped with Confederate flags… that sort of thing.
My reactions to these is sometimes “what a lot of work” for so simple an effect. I think that much of this is built by fabricators or makers, and what are now lately described as “art workers”. It more frequently makes good use of digital tools like 3D scanners and printers, especially in the use of the large scale. This is enabling for three dimensional work, the same cut-and-paste mentality which has done so much to energize the 2D works of the multimedia, but especially photography, or more accurately, digital images. See my post, machine-made-art
I see a time may come soon where large sculptures are no longer shipped worldwide for display, but reproductions, “editions” if you will, are quickly fabricated locally for show, using digitally controlled machinery.
The “Artists” of these works perform as directors or executives, and never emerge from the conceptual realm. Thereafter, the work appears imaginary and insubstantial, and can convey most of what can be know about it in a simple photograph. These images travel well over the internet by delivering their easy visual gags to the many undiscriminating online awaiting entertainment.
I want to “like” a lot of this work, for its design element, but it is rather simple and jokey. I am still surprised (and jealous) about the amount of resources often going into making it.
Meanwhile, the individual object of art is almost unaffected by this change. It will continue to be created, mostly by one person, by hand, with simple tools, or un-specialized machines, individually. There is little distribution because the market is small and the object is unique and physical, limited in movement. The personal expression of the artist is unique in it’s source: the inner life of the person, it’s creation: the specific manual skill and sensibility of the artist, and it’s meaning: sensuality or spirit, Dionysian or Apollonian, and more.
Horsing around with some alternate surface treatments. From some ideas I saw on Instagram…
The halfway point of a sculpture is like swimming to the middle of the ocean… you are not quite sure where you are, either shore equally too far off, but you go forward to the shore you don’t know and away from your starting point.
From here I need to consider the surface finishing of this – color texture pattern adornment – I thought about plaster, because it seems so malleable and still stone-like, and I made a small bozzetto to try it and remembered what a pain plaster is to get upright on a surface. It is really only best for molding.
I made the model and it turned out exactly like the foam figure, which tells me two things – that the plaster doesn’t bring me any closer to the finished surface, but on the other hand, the foam piece is done and nothing needs to be added to it.
The foam core of this Buddha is nearly finished, a few cavities to patch and some sanding to smooth and even out the surface. The clear and present direction to f\go forward with is what I started out to do; cover it with masking tape and then paper mache. I won’t use the “paper clay” recipe from another project. It is too messy like plaster to re-work, and anyway making large batches of the stuff is a chore.
The Deity descends to occupy the sculptural body created by the Artist, as the form becomes attractive and sensible to the entity.
The Artist discovers himself absent-mindedly stroking the nose of the Horse Buddha as he contemplates his carving and visualizes what is next.
Sculptures bridge the gap between Nature and Architecture. They are designed, yet they are of nature.
I’m thinking again about the surface quality of things, in particular, sculpture. The surface of a sculpture, if it isn’t the integral sculptural material itself, is conditioned by these other qualities:
Ornament attracts the eye in a flowing motion, in a variety of all directions. it relaxes the eye muscles and the vision and focus.
Pattern is repetitious, which causes the eye to jump and move, the moiré of pattern and strobe effects of Op Art. It activates the eye’s movement, and is stressful to vision and focus.
Texture is a randomness of pattern, unintentional, the eye wanders without intent, abstractly, into a seeking of imagery to focus onto, the paranoia critical method of Dali. It can be visually restful while also being mentally stressful
Color is the corporeality of an object contained by the field of vision, a visual object is entirely color and nothing else. Impressionist.
A certain person says that her word is “gather”; To bring together, collect, and join.
Work-play continues steadily, no matter. The sculpture of Buddha pre-exists everything, and will still exist after everything else is gone.
The sculpture of the Buddha makes itself; the artist is a sympathetic witness.
Twice the normal working size means, mathematically, so many square-times the usual surface area. This is coming into account now. Phew!
I had to cover that glorious golden belly, but behold, the marvelous/emerging Horse Buddha butt!