Throughout history, no artistic subject has been expressed more often than the human figure. In action or repose, from battle scenes to portraits, artists and viewers alike have been fascinated by it. As a sculptor, the two biggest influences on my work have been High Renaissance Figurative Art and comic books.
By definition, sculpture is 3-dimensional and traditionally finished in some hard substance such as stone or wood or metal. Modern sculptures incorporate any and all substances from bones to space-age polymers.
I've always made art with whatever material was available. If there was paint, I painted. If there was a pencil, I drew. On the beach, I made sand sculptures. One day I found a spool of wire in my tool drawer, the kind that's used to hang picture frames. I made two small climbing figures. I called them "wire hangers" and gave them to my cousin for her birthday. Everyone really seemed to like them and I enjoyed making them so whenever a celebration required a gift, I got out my pliers.
I use only a pair of wire cutting pliers and my bare hands to form the pieces, occasionally working from sketches but usually just free sculpting a gesture before building out the muscle masses.
The action of climbing provides an opportunity to look at the figure suspended in space, to be able to see from angles less seen in most traditional sculpture. Also, like a glass half-full or half-empty, I find a subtle test of the optimism of the viewer in the ascending or descending interpretation.
What I like about wire as a medium is that it's an industrial material whose basic qualities remain the same, the same metal, the same thickness , even after its been sculpted. Cast iron is no longer iron ore. A carved tree is still wood but no longer a tree. A marble statue is not a rock but every part of a wire sculpture is still wire.
Craighead Green Gallery
1011 Dragon Street
Dallas, Texas 75207