Posts Tagged ‘Art Theory’

Feb 13th, 2017

Embrace the Strange.

My wife gave a TedX talk on finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments. Those times when you think, “Never in a Million Years”.   On the same night, my friend Kevin gave a TedX talk on finding comfort in the uncomfortable. Both talks were profound, touching, and comical. I walked away reminded to observe.   It was also a point of reflection on my own process from the first marks of a pen in the studio to the artist’s reception.

In the beginning of the movie “Pollock” starring Ed Harris, Jackson Pollock is standing at an opening of his work, several people approach him for autographs, he politely signs, but as he does he also looks around. His eyes move across the room, observing, looking for something, he is searching for or observing the order in the chaos. He is a stranger in a room full of friends, family, collectors, and art lovers.   It is a moment that I feel most artists have had as they put their work on display for friends, family, and strangers alike.

Why do we do this? It’s a question that is asked not just by the audience, but also by the artists themselves. I ask myself in those moments, why? Then I try to embrace those who have come to share in my work. The work is done most often in isolation, but the presentation of the product “the art”, is shown for public consumption. It is a juxtaposition built into the creative process. I have openings to share the art, to see response, to share in a moment. It is amazing that people will give of their time to share with me. It’s humbling when you put your work out there for everyone to see and people show up to see it. Its that moment that is so perfectly portrayed in the “Pollock” film. As the artists  you are standing alone in a room and you cast your eyes to see all those who have come to share. Its intense, its inevitable, its humbling, and you and your art are vulnerable.

It sounds pretentious,but I have handlers at my shows.  Their job is to move me around the room.  If left to my own devices in this moment, I know I will retreat to a friend and stand in the corner and talk in isolation. Someone once said, she feels like she’s in charge of a dog at a dog show, as she pushes and pulls me around the gallery. The reality is, I love people, I love socializing, and I live off the energy of motivation and conversation. I’m not saying I’m good at it, in-fact I often have to apologize for what I’ve  said, but the truth is it balances the isolation in which the art is made.

At the end of the day, it is part of my job, it is what I do, it is who I am, it is normal, it is strange, it is part of the process. Some moments are stranger than others, but I find comfort when I remember to embrace the strange.

Cory

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Feb, 23rd.

Last Bronzes in Prague…

The past few months have been mostly spent working on new waxes for bronze sculptures. Today I finished the last bronze I plan on making in Prague and it is a personal gift for Jaz.   I am excited about the new works coming from this last session and will be extremely satisfied with the work if it all comes to fruition. This has included, commissions for patrons and friends, a donation for the International School of Prague,  the continuation of a series, and an experimental process of bringing bronze and glass together.

The private commissions mean a lot to me because it involves collaborating between the patron and myself. Through art we get to know each other and develop an understanding of a vision. It is a massive responsibility for me to take on a private commission because it involves a lot of trust on behalf of the patron. In most cases the patrons are friends or people who become friends through the work. This is the greatest gift art brings to my studio.

In a unique project Tim and Eva Shaw commissioned a piece and wanted to be directly involved in the creation of the works. It involved a rare evening of working in the studio and having them become collaborators in its most honest form. They rolled up their sleeves and helped pour and create the wax sculptures that will be part of the piece that will hang on their wall. Their children will be involved in the finishing work of the bronzes. It is a piece that reflects a relationship, friendship, and experience that we will share for time. At the end of the evening of course we toasted our collaborative spirit.

As an added bonus this past week was the first time my son saw a bronze foundry that he would remember.   The people at the www.hvh.cz HVH foundry have become my sculpture family away from home and it was an amazing moment for me to show him the bronze process and the facilities needed to make it happen. I hope it gave him a deeper appreciation. At one point I heard him tell Christy, “I can see why Dad loves making bronzes, all the things you need to make them are just big toys!!!!

From the mouths of babes.   True true true…

I am also excited for the experimental works I am doing to bring Czech Crystal and Bronze together in a few of the pieces. This project has afforded me the opportunity to spend the day in a Glass Casting foundry in the northern part of the CZ. It was quite a learning experience. If this works, it will be a fitting visual culmination on the story of my time in Prague.

I have included a smattering of photos of the works in process. It is a real collage of pieces and projects and friends becoming collaborators.  It is strange for me to think that I am packing up the sculpture materials. The reality is that once the waxes leave my studio it takes another six weeks until they are ready to have the finish work done on them. So proper planning is necessary.

They will all be shown at the May 16th exhibition.

Enjoy,

Cory

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