The Sculpture Collector

Posts Tagged ‘Sculpture’

The Headington Shark Sculpture – What is it?

In Sculpture Personalities, Sculptures on March 11, 2011 at 6:32 am

Well this isn’t something you see everyday, even if you’re a scuba diver. The Headington shark is a sculpture that was made to symbolize the reaction to the attrocities commited at Nagasaki. It’s suppose to be likened to the nuclear power used against innocent people when bombs were dropped from the sky. The sculpture is about two hundred kilograms and is made of fiberglass. In 2007, it was renovated by the sculptor who built it.

headington shark

Sculpture bu John Buckler – Photography by Henry Flower

Sometimes contemporary sculpture need not neccessarilly be appealing in the sense of visual beauty, but the depth of meaning behind the artwork must stand out one way or another. The Headington Shark is a perfect example of contemporary art that makes you wonder what on earth the artist was thinking. It draws you in to discover the history of its inspiration and story. John Buckley; it’s creator, was a genius when he created such a bold, yet curious piece. The shark wasn’t always appreciated though. A long time ago, the Oxford City Council tried to have it removed and relocated to a local swimming pool, but the people had grown too much attachment to the sculpture that it ended up staying right where it was.

Living Sculptures : Art Innovation or Landscape Design?

In sculpture movements, Sculpture Techniques on March 11, 2011 at 6:04 am

We’ve all seen the recent green movement rise up in popularity over the past few years. It’s affected almost every industry including the arts to a great extent. One particular movement that we’d like to tackle today is the issue of “living sculpture”. I bet you’ve seen those large gardens often spotted amidst locations of royalty or government. These are the ones laden with sculpted trees and shrubs (a good example could be the garden maze that we always see on television and movies.) These are examples of living sculptures, or so people say. Landscape architects and designers argue that this movement is merely an extension of their own profession.

grasswoman sculpture of the land art movement

As far as we know, there are a few categories that belong to the movement of living sculpture, some that intercross with landscape design as well. First off, we have Topiary art. This is a more common sight and it engulfs the examples I gave earlier. Topiary art can usually be made by creating shapes or forms from living plants. Select pruning and contour restriction training are some of the techniques of this art. Bonsai is also a product of this discipline that portrays miniature trees as artworks in landscape. Creatively cutting crop areas also qualifies as the creation of living sculpture. Turf or sod-work on the other hand, is a more recent development that has stemmed out of the Land-Art movement of sculpture. They were seen as a way for art to be a direct part of nature and landscape, and were often temporary and large-scale.

Today, there are many that can differentiate living art from landscape design, and there are also those who believe that the two are one and the same. What do you classify as living art?

Sand Sculpting Festivals Around the Globe

In Art Hotspots, Sculpture Techniques on March 1, 2011 at 12:21 am

Around the world, sand festivals are growing in popularity. Sometimes called Sand Sculpture Festivals because of the main attraction involved, thousands of people gather to witness both the making of monumentally scaled sand artwork, and the exhibit of diverse compositions one would never see at a regular gallery. These festivals showcase the talent and flexibility of sculptors while testing their mastery. Working with sand as a medium is often difficult because of its grainy tendency to crumble down. During the Sand Sculpting Australia “Dinostory” Festival, sculptors were excited to sculpt their favorite prehistoric subjects out of raw beach sand. The Australian Festival is a yearly event that is held at Frankston, Victoria since 2008.

sand artwork from australia

Sand Sculpture – Photography by John O’ Neill

Other countries that encourage this type of sculptural activity include Canada (Lau Beauchamp Park and Clam Harbor in Nova Scotia), Germany (Berlin’s Sandsation Festival) and India (Goa Sand Festival) among others. Many subjects that are sculpted in sand are drawn directly from themes given during the competition, however some artits, like Patnaik in India, prefer to sculpt artwork in support for a specific cause like the tsunami strike in Puri.

The most widespread sand sculpting festival in Portugal; the International Sand Sculpture Festival was the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. It has been held in Algarve since 2003. Russia also contributes to the worldwide phenomena of sand sculpting, with its recent 2005 sand show; “Animal World” which was held at the Moscow Zoo. To much of everybody’s surprise, the venue and inspirational surroundings gave the artists exactly what they needed to put up one heck of a show. Sand sculpting around the world has been the recent dream of many artists and even some regular beach-hoppers. It’s a fun and recreational practice that encourages creativity in today’s fast-paced society.

Louise Bourgeois : Founder of Confessional Art

In Sculpture Personalities, Sculpture Techniques on February 26, 2011 at 7:29 am

A French American Sculptor, Louise was also nicknamed the “Spiderwoman” for her spider-like sculptures that she entitled Manman. Louise’s are focuses mainly on the themes of humsn expression, i.e. loneliness, anxiety, betrayal. She considered her abstract works to be narratives of emotion and wanted them to convey some sort of human condition that language alone could not fully communicate.

The Manman Sculpture of Louise Bourgeoise

Despite her introvert-personality as a child and her hatred for her father, She managed to gain strength as an artist and studied t several prestigious schools to hone her craft. Such schools included the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris and the École des Beaux-Arts. Learning from many great masters in the world of sculpture, she slowly developed her very own mannerism and techniques. She also eventually taught art at the Pratt Institute and the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture.

Her Sculpture, Manman is one of the famous spider structures she had set up. She began to create these tall, spiny-legged abstractions in the late 1990’s and incorporated the spider subject as a core element in her work. Manman stands to be over nine meters tall and is made up of steel and marble. Eventually more were made, but not using the same material. Louise mentioned that the spider, being a clever weaver, was an ode to her late mother who was in charge of their tapestry business. It also reminded her about how her mother used to protect them from harmful externals, the way spiders eat pest insects.


Cast Sculpture and Carved Sculpture: The Difference

In Sculpture Techniques on February 26, 2011 at 7:02 am

What makes casting sculpture different from carving it? Well, first off the two make use of entirely different processes. Casting involves more of a chemical knowledge base, while carving requires a knowledge about tools and practical usage. For this article let us take a look at the opposing aspects, advantages and disadvantages of using these two methodologies.

Cast sculpture usually involves a series of liquid and powdered ingredients as well as a negative mould. The process is more complicated in theory, but much simpler in real-time. Casting resin usually starts from an original design, whether made in clay or copied from an existing model, a design must be able to be durable enough to withstand the moulding process. For resin casting, either plaster or silicone is pasted onto the model to replicate a negative side of it quite accurately. The mould is then set to dry for later. Before the casting, resin powder and other ingredients must be measured. Release wax must also be applied to the mould ends. Then a mixture of the casting investment is then poured into the mould and set to dry. When it has dried, the mould is either separated or chipped away to reveal the sculpture inside. Furnishing, painting and buffing then follow to finally complete the sculpture.

Carving sculpture on the other hand is much more simpler in theory but tedious in real-time. A sculptor usually makes use of a set of power tools, a water jet, and a hammer and chisel set. The process basically entails chipping away at a hard natural material such as alabaster, nephrite, or metamorphic rocks with beautiful raw color and patterns. The finished sculpture is then cleaned and buffed to bring out its natural tones.

Carved sculpture has natural colors while cast sculpture makes use of industrial paints, however cast sculpture can maintain a variety of curvaceous or liquid forms that would be hard to recreate in carved stone. Another aspect of comparison could be durability. Some people say that carved sculptures hold the natural durability of their stones while the lasting strength of cast sculpture depends mainly on the composition of the materials mixed into the investment. Cast sculpture also makes it easier for artists to create sculptural designs with better ease.

All in all there are many trade-offs to choosing either methodology, but both have their own uniqueness in the world of fine sculpture.

Collecting Sculptures Today

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

As we have just passed the turn of the century, human art has become more curious than it has ever been before. Not only did criteria for beauty elevate itself beyond the visual, but it has gone and permeated many of the other senses as well. Thee days the words “sound sculpture” or “water sculpture” are fairly common among the lingo of art curators and gallery owners. New methodologies and novelties make buying art an even more exciting, yet more risky adventure for the newcomer.

Contemporary modernism seems to be the top-runner these days when it comes to genre-oriented art fame. Though old masters of realism and naturalism still conquer much of the high class markets due to their generation-friendly themes and output.

Kylo Chua Sculpture
You may feel a hint of confusion when dealing with a gallery for the first time, especially if the gallery handles more than a handful of new artists every month. What you should always remember is to ask about the artist involved with the work you’re buying. Take into consideration his or her age in comparison with the workmanship being shown, as well as how striking each element in the piece matches your own taste. A common inquiry by new collectors is the question of the artist’s history, awards and past exhibitions- these would be the usual criteria for a successful ‘investment’ as these days many buyer of art prefer to keep their monetary value over giving drive to their personal taste for beauty.

Depending on your reason for buying art, the criteria for judgment and selection can vary, but the truest experience comes from learning the ropes yourself and deciding for yourself. You could go for a piece that touches your heart, or one that would look great with the happy home you’ve built for your family. You could also go for the strange oddity that climbs the price ladder each and every year, hoping that it could double your investment by 2012. There are indeed many ways to look at this. Art and sculpture buying is a very fickle topic and can sway with the times. What won’t sway however, is the legacy that a serious artist leaves, because if an artist or sculptor is truly bent on creating a fine career our of that beautiful artpiece you’ve just seen in the gallery, then he will make it a point to show you. Be it in exhibits, or the news, or the internet. Prominence is always one way of knowing that despite everything you’ve made a true and good choice in purchasing your artwork. This goes hand in hand with visual consistency as well. Always keep a look out for your artist’s works and don’t be afraid to email him or her if you have an inquiry. Artists are among some of the friendliest people I have met, and I do not think that’s going to change anytime soon.

What is Light Sculpture?

In Sculpture Techniques on February 7, 2011 at 1:31 am

This new and artistic way of sculpture refers to an intermedia that pertains to either the manipulation of light to exist as a dimensional artwork, or the making of an art object that in its purpose produces a display of light. Some of the earlier Light sculptors include Dan Flavin (who used electricity as a light medium), James Turrell and the more recent Olafur Eliasson.

Eliasson created a light sculpture known as “The Weather Project” in 2003. The sculpture in itself was a room with a mirrored ceiling and a brightly lit half circle/sphere resembling the sun.

Light Sculpture 01

Photography and Flash Swirl Sculpture

Today, many light sculptors make use of modern day technology to aid them in producing their unique creations. A simple DSLR camera and flashlight are enough to create a popular type of freeze-frame light display captured on picture. Many serious sculptors make good use of LED or light emitting diodes as a new media. Others have moved on to an even more complex form- Lumino kinetic art, which refers to the freeplay of light in motion.

Both Light sculpture and Lumino Kinetic art have similar origins. They can trace back to the works of László Moholy-Nagy a man who was deeply inspired by constructivism and whose Light-Space Modulator was one of the very first artworks to pioneer light art. Other originators include cyber sculptor Nicolas Schöffer who used prism properties with video circuits to create original works of art, and Frank Malina who was an engineer turned artist when he created the Lumidyne system of lighting or CITE.

All in all, this novel methodology is one of the fastest growing techniques in contemporary art, largely due to the growing demand for newer technology. Despite being called timeless, artistic styles can also change with the passing of our history. As man moves into new discoveries, so does his culture and way of life.