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Submitted on
November 18, 2011


29,436 (6 today)
204 (who?)

by techgnotic
Fri Jul 8, 2011, 7:59 PM

Marble, Granite, Bronze, Silver, Gold!

Early statuary depicted one’s god’s, and since the medium is
as much the message as the visual message itself – the medium had
to proclaim: This god is as forever lasting as this stone that His
rendering is hewn out of! But all that is solid eventually melts
away into the air, even the most powerful ancient gods and kings –

By the time of the Renaissance, sculpture had managed to evolve away from the more ancient obsession of
depicting the Gods Themselves (indeed, with the encouragement in the belief that statues of gods were literally
material manifestations of gods or at least housings for gods’ essences) and became more focused on tableaus depicting
epiphanous moments from religious narratives... Michelangelo’s Pieta

...or even human non-god heroes from the great stories like Michelangelo’s David.

For the next few centuries, sculpture continued to seek an eternal permanence for human (mainly military or political)
heroes as much as for religious figures, to which anyone having visited the Lincoln Memorial or Mount Rushmore can attest.  
But the impulse remained to somehow keep beings, whether gods or humans, somehow “alive” by capturing them in immortal materials
that would not crumble away as readily as mortal flesh.

Modernism finally released sculptures from the strait-jacket of being 3D portraiture of living beings or tableaux. Modern sculptures allowed
abstract expressions to take their place as solid manifestations, provocative and mind-engaging as Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings
on canvas.  The desire to capture the essences of gods or great humans’ beings had finally evolved into the artist’s
desire to capture the essence of thought. The artist perceptions, to ours – the desire to capture desire itself.  
It seems that modern sculpture is not about inducing a feeling of awe in the beholder, but being in the presence of a mighty god, warrior or king.
Observing is like a dream, memory or desire – suddenly becoming solid out of the thin air.

Questions for the Reader

  1. Paintings can burn.  Digital can be deleted.  Is permanence what draws the artist to the medium of clay, stone, steel, wood, bronze, etc.?
  2. Does a sculpture, which must be allowed to occupy a more substantial space than a flat plane on a wall or PC screen, make a statement or create a provocation that can less easily be dismissed?
  3. What is it that personally draws you to sculptures and the fuels your desire to create through sculpting?  What was you first experience with encountering and being emotionally, psychically affected by a sculpture?

I plan on revisiting this topic early next year by interviewing the leaders in the Sculpture community here on deviantART.   If you have any suggestions as to the artists you would like to me to interview please let me know in the comment section.  I will be featuring a wide variety of the sculpture community in that feature.






This article may be redistributed on the web by link and with attribution to deviantART but not re-printed without deviantART's permission.

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roballen2 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Professional Artist
Gods come and Gods go. People throughout the ages have killed, died, and given up their every freedom for these myths/beliefs.
Art, of any medium is in the "Mind" of the beholder.
When The big Cockroach riding the back of a rat, like it is a horse, sees the eroded Mt. Rushmore, it'll communicate in its way.
"These were the feather less, fur less gross combination of all animals combined, they use to rule this world. They are the one that made us strong. They poisoned us, tried to stamp us out in every conceiveable way. Where are they now? After having nearly destroyed the world it's self? They are No More!"
Fabiuss Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
thank you for featuring my photo!
why didn't you informed me?
WishMasterFreelancer Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011
1) Permanence is not the main thing about real sculptures I think.
3) I haven't done real life sculpting yet. But what I like in real sculptures is their 3-dimensionality. Their just as 3D as me. and people around me.
My first experience was gazing the sculpture made of marble with such small clothes details as lace, creases and wrinkles (marble... not clay... can you imagine that??)
AngelEji Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
more than permanence, I would say endurance. each material has a certain life span that can not be ingnored no matter it's resistance or quality. being able to sculpt or "shape shift" a medium to the artist's desire is unique in giving satisfaction.

answer: why not? in today's way of living, just being able to decorate a room electrical appliances is studied and debated. why can't a sculpture have it's own space? like each objects we own, a sculpture has it's own definition.

first and foremost, the dept of details presented in the sculpture as a whole. and when looking at details, the lines carved.
the sculpture having it's own definition, as stated above, I try to look into how the "definition" is presented, shaped.
my first encounter of a sculpture would be the ones in temple, the gods/goddesses' ones. in the hindou culture, you can find amazing work of art preserving their own originality and vitality though techniques and realization are thousand years old.
wolvesrule1243 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Though paintings and such can be destroyed very easily, I believe that working with clay, marble, and other natural substances makes the artist feel a bit more of a permnament, and widespread boundry. True, a sculpture can be broken, however, the fact that it is stronger gives the artist a comfort to know that it won't be broken or lost so easily. It too allows an artist to express his or her feelings into it and thereby influence others to feel the same.

It can be both. Everyone has his or her own personal opinion, plus certain sculptures may be found innapropriate by viewers. It just depends on the atmosphere and the tpe of people in it.
lalase Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Most artist are drawn to the medium of clay, stone, steel, wood, bronze, etc. becuse they like the beauty of it. The permanence of it is just one of many reasons to love the form of art.

a sculpture is another form of art and like all the others it takes skill and creativety.

my desire to create through sculpting, its fun, its a challenge, It Is ART.
IcyDrake Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Depression induced ideas aside, the idea that sculpture is any more permanent than canvas or pixels is a fraud. Chemically, it is impossible to keep even metal sculpture looking the same for more than a decade without incurring oxidation or erosion of some kind - there just isn't a material that will do that.

Working in three dimensions - in my case fine woodworking - is for me an opportunity to work without the restriction of forced perspective. Granted, in demonstrating my Art online, I must ironically force a perspective upon my audience via photo, but in physical demonstration, I can let my audience handle my work, and they can choose a perspective that suits their own experiences. It seems to me that the act of creating a physical object is undeniably a work of nonfiction - even if the carving is of a fictional occurrence - the piece itself is real, tangible and a part of the world that we all must find a way to live with. Therefore, if what I make causes reality to be more palatable, then my work as an artist is, by definition, resolved.
Sculptor94 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Permanence is a myth. Let's start there. There's such a wide array of things to be done with sculpture, in lots of mediums to explore, and an endless list of things to create, destroy, and recreate. Permanence, no. I would disagree, but the versatility the artist can play with, yes.

It is entirely up to the viewer whether a sculpture is more meaningful or has a louder statement then a painting only because it takes up more space. Its all within the context of the piece, and the sustenance it offers. In other words, I'm just as awed by the The Victory of Samothrace as I am by the Mona Lisa.

What draws me to sculpt is I want to create and sculpting is a readily available way of doing so. It's an unbelievable amount of fun and, unlike drawing or painting, its more of a community effort. At some point I need another's opinion or someone to help me lift it. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes an art department to create a sculpture.

I :heart: sculpture, and its neat to see a lot of other people share my eloquently worded feelings.
Kenziiquinn Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Student General Artist
I've always thought in ways of form- touching and feeling the textures of things, and thinking in 3D, if you can imagine. But I've been lately curious as to why almost all artists have bound themselves to flat surfaces to conjure ideas, when really ideas are experiences and forms in nature.
And certainly, an artist tying oneself to human figures of clay and stone is refusing to absorb artistic surrounding and expand upon communicating concepts and emotions. Human forms can only go so far.

I believe the most successful artists take reality, and beat it to a pulp into a whole new way of seeing the world, which is way sculpture is stepping towards understanding and seeing reality and illusion eye to eye.
... Although I unfortunately find no interest in answering the above questions :D
supersonic3225 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Well that's Michelangelo. He's famous and nobody here can be as good as him.
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