Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

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.

Add a Comment:
OceanStory1 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011
Thank you ! Thats what I said
moonlight-fox Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Paintings can burn. Digital can be deleted. Is permanence what draws the artist to the medium of clay, stone, steel, wood, bronze, etc.?

-I think it is part of the reason but a physical manifestation of art in such a way that you can touch it and feel its "3d-ness" makes up most of it, some message comes across more easily when it is physically present.

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?

-Yes, the viewers have a more physical interaction with the art.

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 have little experience with sculpting but I think it is because I can create not by simply drawing it on paper but making it out of stone have this magic.
gbntbedtyr Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I have enjoyed multi mediums for most, if not all of my life. I sculpt because it is closer to life. I Love the female form and Love creating a piece of art as life like as possible. (see Sculpting Sunshine in Frias eZine, it's a photo essay {although not truly sculpture} that truly portrays my dreams, my thoughts, in sculpting) However I too like the challenge of a new Medium. My recent, as in ten years or so, Automotive Sculpture, is an example of the challenge, as well as the permanence you speak of. I saw a 3D Flame Job, and marveled at it's beauty, but I did not have the tools to do one, at least not in the traditional manner. I picked up a Hammer and began beating out Flame Jobs. It was a Medium, It was a Challenge, I Conquered.
krymsinthe Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
"Paintings can burn. Digital can be deleted. Is permanence what draws the artist to the medium of clay, stone, steel, wood, bronze, etc.?"

- i like how you ask that question, its sooo eye-catching that ive clicked on it >.<
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
To me, the Greeks and such wasted their talents on their fake gods. They should have used their God-given gifts to worship God, the ONLY ONE TRUE GOD, whose Son came to die for each and every one of us filthy sinners. The Greek gods were fake, but my God lives on today!
jennystokes Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Professional General Artist
You are putting yourself in a VERY vulnerable position here:
1. A HUGE amount of the art in this World of ours is Religious/Christian/Greek/Roman gods/Scandinavian Gods/Indian gods...........
2. Without these wonderful sculptures the earth would be a VERY boring place.
3. I have travelled in a lot of countries. Have you............?
4. EVEN if you don't believe in other Gods, as an artist, SURELY you can admire the 'workmanship?'
5. Some of these sculptures have been around for centuries, they have not been desecrated or removed, because people go to see them because they are art!
It is obvious to me that you are being extremely 'blind'.................imagine a World without these "God" Sculptures?
Have you EVER been to a Jain Temple in India? Ever been to Italy and marvelled at all the sculptures in Roman Catholic churches and Cathedrals? EVER been to Sri Lanka and admired the massive Buddhist and Hindhu sculptures there?
I rest my case.
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
But they are all FAKE! My God is alive and well, and loves every single person on the face of this planet. Just because you think something is artful doesn't make it right. These sculptures are idols before God, I believe, and that IS a sin. I rest MY case.
roballen2 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Professional Artist
Christian-can you honestly say that more people have been helped in the name of Christ, or more people have been killed, tortured (In the most atrocious ways)wars fought, people slaughtered. The inquisition, the reclamation, etc.
In 1059 Pope Gregory sent forth the crusaders to push back the Islamic Hordes. This battle goes on to this day.
You opened that bible and closed your mind. You are sheeple. "Christ"= The Greatest Story Ever Sold".
I suggest you look into the who, what, when, where, how, and why...Christianity got started. You have an imposed worldview, and a warped self image. Humans being a species that feels a need to band together, did this to you= your society. "Pray for someone to grow their arm back?"
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You sir have a twisted view of what I believe. Christianity is not about the mistakes man makes. Man is not perfect and will never be perfect. Christ died for people like you, people who want nothing to do with His grace and mercy, things that change a person. Many people have claimed to be followers of Christ, but they aren't. I think YOU need to sit down and read the Bible. Maybe then you would get the big picture of what God Himself says is truth.

P.S. I will not stand down from your intimidation tactics, on my art or my Jesus. To you, He may be a fairy tale, but to me, He is SSOOOOOO much more than you can even imagine. I only hope that you can see He loves you and everyone else on this planet. Thank you for challenging me to make a stand for Christ :) it actually shows that I'm making the stand I need to for Christ, but it also shows I need to continue to grow to rebuke people like you who curse His holy name. Good day sir.
roballen2 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional Artist
Don't hang no FAKE murder raps on me, NO one died for me.Holy Mitochondria, you are a brainwashed moron.
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
no comment...i dont need to hear you call me a moron for my beliefs. Yeah, because THAT sounds SOOOO loving...calling me a hypocrite
L9pendragon Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
if you look past the fake gods and look at the artwork itself doesn't it look amazing?
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
nah cuz most of them are half naked men and women anyway...shows no dignity whatsoever...
L9pendragon Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
then what about adam and eve?....
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
oh please...they didn't know they were naked, and then it was not a sin, that is until lust and such began
jennystokes Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Professional General Artist
Sorry! But this attitude will get you nowhere in life!
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
fine with me...I have another life to look forward to on the other side, so...I'm good.
xNetushax Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great counter points, Jenny. I agree with you unanimously! I happen to have Christian friends like this fellow here. On point no.4, 17chrisjenkins should learn to respect the path of religion people choose to follow. I was born into a Hindu family but I am a Freethinker. Even if I am not a believer of any religion, I think I would appreciate each religion for diversified ways in teaching morals. So, he IS putting himself in a vulnerable position by throwing his weight around. Would he like it if I said Jesus was "fake"? I don't think so.
jennystokes Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
EXACTLY..........No wonder that we have wars, with an attitude like this.
It brings to mind the utter desecration of those brilliant statues by the Taliban in Afghanistan..............1000's of years old Buddha's.
Thanx for your comment.
RainaStar1015 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
First of Im sure "God" wouldnt want you to be such a dick about it. There are MANY people who follow the Gods and Goddesses of Old, and for some very good reasons. "God" wouldnt want you be so offensive, and Im sure you wouldnt like it if anyone said your god is a fail of a figment of the imagination, would you?
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
2 things:

1. Do not use profanity when talking about my God.
2. God is not put in quotation marks. His name deserves to be shown respect, as He is the only true God and therefore deserves that respect of being called as such. Sinply because you reject His Son Jesus does not give you the right to run me into the ground for taking a stand for my Best Friend.
Also, if you cannot talk properly, do not talk at all, please.
RainaStar1015 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
To YOU hes the true god, but that doesnt give you the right to defame and trash all other gods that various people from various walks of life worship. That was my point.
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
whatever...I don't have to argue with you...
xNetushax Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Dood, how OLD are you? Seriously, you are missing the point of this argument. What WE are trying to say is that in God's name (if you really think you are the most holy human on the face of Earth), wouldn't it be a SIN to NOT RESPECT others for those of different faiths in life? Think about it, darling, as long as they don't do bad things and not be harmful to others, their definition of the Higher Power should be a stand in their own league, where no one for any reason, should question. In your case, how is it you have respect for Jesus when you don't follow the basic fundamental of R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

jennystokes is right! Your attitude won't take you anywhere further in life. In the real world, someone would have had already beaten you into a pulp.

We just hope you realize you can't go around and tell people what's right or wrong. Some things are just right in their own way for some individuals.
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
If it's not by the Bible's standards, it's wrong. And for the record, I don't claim to be perfect. I'm nothing but a sinner saved by God's grace. I'm not a Christian because I'm a good person...I make mistakes too. It's only through Jesus that we find eternal love and healing...something a statue of a god can't give us. In Jesus, I have hope, grace, mercy, love and peace that surpasses any other. Maybe if you knew Jesus like I am so blessed to do, you would understand why I try and make such a strong statement for my Lord and Savior. I'm not trying to beat anyone down...people simply need to know that God loves them and wants them, even if I get overzealous and go past my boundaries.
xNetushax Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, since you find peace and love in your God then good for you. But deal with it, everybody has their own God and clearly, God is a vague subject. If you believe Jesus is the only God, fine by me. But keep it to yourself. Don't force it onto others who don't feel the same way. I come from a family of pagan worshipers. Even if I don't agree with the ways of religion. I must say it's a sensitive subject that can't be concluded to favor any party. Because the power of Belief is the strongest point of the human mind, hence the debate about religion can't be closed.

If you don't intend to hurt anyone. Then, just keep your rude, disrespectful, selfish opinions within people just like you. If you really do realize the severity of your mistakes, you should apologize for your words. If you want people to know God loves them, don't tell them the God they love is FAKE.

I will not waste my precious time on you anymore. But I had an enjoyable time sharing this with my other friends. :D
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've enjoyed it too. I shared the Truth, and even if I'm not perfect, God is. I don't apologize for bringing the Bible into this.
syaoranredfire Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it needs fully concentration of mind and work flow! it feels like giving life to still thing, no matter is digital or on something like rock or whatever! just start and don't stop until it dosen't take any form!! it's really cool!! hard but gives ultimate result!!
Debra-Marie Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I think sculptures are the most fun type of art to make :)
hawaiifunsun Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011
idk about this. the romans melted down the bronze statues of the greeks for their war shields. that puts a needle into this argument.
jennystokes Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Professional General Artist
ONLY some of them!
hawaiifunsun Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
don't you mean most? there are less than 5, i believe, that are original.
jennystokes Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
This is NOT true..................some mouldered away for a long time, when the Pope's came into power in Italy, they ressurescted a lot of the statues that had been buried and broken as they were building their cities.
They re-vamped them and used them in their palaces etc.
hawaiifunsun Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011
You know, Rome is in Italy, and I am talking about the original Greek (<-- should be underlined), not Roman, statues. Roman bronze statues are more available than the Greek ones, due to war.

taken from this website, <[link]>, which should be a reputable source:

"Since all but a few ancient bronze statues have been lost or were melted down to reuse the valuable metal, marble copies made during the Roman period provide our primary visual evidence of masterpieces by famous Greek sculptors. Almost all the marble statues in the Mary and Michael Jaharis Gallery at The Metropolitan Museum of Art are Roman copies of bronze statues created by Greek artists some five hundred years earlier, during the fifth and fourth centuries B.C."
sarish7 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Student Digital Artist
1. It is a pretty outdated belief that sculpture is "permanent", the discovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum and all the wonderful artifacts perserved in them sparked the misguided idea that sculptures last hundreds of years in tact. Of course we now know that sculptures get destroyed all the time; they are often destroyed for their parts (metal for weapons, cheap marble, etc.), when the subject falls out of public favour (Lenin, Saddam Hussein, etc) and so on there are endless reasons. Modern artists know better than to believe anything in this world is permanent.

2. It's hard to say, it depends completely on the work of art. Comparing two works of art both inspired by war: Picasso's painting "Guernica" vs. Kathe Kollwitz's sculpture "Mother with dead son". Both are incredibly commanding of their spaces, and neither can easily be dismissed. So when we move on to lesser works of art (sorry guys but these are the masters I'm talking about here!) I think the same logic applies. All art has the ability to make an impact no matter what its medium, dimensions or surroundings.

3.Since my playdough days I have loved sculpting, simply getting my hands in clay is incredibly satisfying for me. As a student my desire to get better really fuels my work, I am always striving to improve my skills. I haven't decided exactly what to do with these skills yet, but even if I don't use them in my future work I will keep sculpting because I love doing it.
kuwaneko Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
hard to say if it's the same for everyone; as someone who is actually studding sculpture, instead of painting or digital or any others... I can say with grate confidence that sculpture captured me because of the feel of it; its tangible, you can touch it, feel its texture, being able to touch it, to feel its 3D-ality; how the material reacts when I cut it, how it bends when I push it, how it transforms when it passes through fire... I, for me, it feels like magic. So, yeah, at least for me it's not really about the durability; though I'll be sincere, who doesn't want for their art to transcend

to tell the truth, I don't think a sculpture 'must'; its the same with all art, all art should try to leave some kind of impression, whatever its form, for that is why we do art, even if it's just for ourselves

ah, and I pretty much rambled the third answer within(instead) the first.
my ... most emotional encounter was... walking up the great staircase with something that resembled the border of a steep cliff, and each step I took up started to reveal that figure.... the movement captured in the robes; the resolution in her steps; the position of her torso, of the wings, I could almost feel her excitement; and for a moment I though, "oh god! she is going to jump and fly..." and it took me a while for the excitement in my pounding heart to subside, and my mind to actually understand that she wouldn't do so, and by god, it still sends shivers down my spine, when I recall, the awe returning. her, with neither head nor arms, and yet I could feel her expression
ah, which statue? well, just the Winged Victory of Samothrace

my first one... I think it was the 'Monumento Nacional' from Costa Rica (the one with the 5 ladies chasing a fleeing soldier, one with an axe, one with a shield and a lance, one with a sword and the one in the center with a flag and holding the fifth), it's really impressive too (and holds quite the history too, just so to pique some curiosity into everyone);... and yeah I'm from Costa Rica, so, I'm pretty proud of having such a fine piece of art commemorate such a part of my countries history
Airgiod Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've only just begun learning about silver smithing. I haven't made very many things, but it has been fun. With rendering fractals, the medium seems limited at times. You have to rely on coding, software, which is really only one thing. To mix things up a bit, you can introduce manipulation via photoshop. Which is still just software. Which is still viewed through a monitor, which could die at any moment. Which does introduce a certain element of stress at times.
Silver smithing, I have been able to use so many different tools to apply different effects. A rusted hammer to create a unique texture, Emory to create an almost soft, speckled texture. I have heat treated copper to make it blue and green, and bent brass wire into neat shapes with pliers. And I have used these skills to make somewhat stylish repairs to various objects. Truth be told, I have made more repairs than anything else.
It just seems like there's so much more possibility with 3 dimensional arts. And there is no reliance on technology, which is a nice bonus.
Mivala Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
My favorite sculptor on Deviantart (who updates their page practically nonstop with new work) is :

It's absolutely amazing the character that his work possesses. His style is easily recognizable...very unique. I'm always happy to come on DeviantArt and see an update in their work~

I must sleep, but I'd love to answer those questions in another comment. Gotta sleep on it a little~
cigneutron Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
What draws me to sculpture is the fact that I'm bored with the real world and I want to live in a place where the homely creatures that swim around in my brain soup actually exist. I want to have a beer with a crapulon [link] or defend my cigarettes from Cigaratts [link] and since I can't, I can however bring these creatures to some sort of life by sculpting in a tangible 3d medium. I only hope that I can leave the world a little bit more bizarre than it was before me.
Canadian-Soup Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Student General Artist
This is exactly the research for my art class I just came on to do. :la: THANKS dA!
SonicWolvelina99 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
1) Really, in my opinion, Permanence isn't the reason why I like sculptures. I like sculptures like Michelangelo's David because it's another form of art that can look like a living thing and from the detail of that David, you could tell that Michelangelo himself put alot of effort and time in making the sculpture. It's just nice to see other people's work.

2) It doesn't matter to me. Though, I would love to see it in real life than just a photo of it because the quality of a photo will never match the quality of the real sculpture. I am one of those people who appreciate others when I see it, hear it, feel it, touch it or taste it.

3) I don't sculpt that often but from time to time, I do sometimes pick up a piece of clay and make something out of it. My first encounter with a sculpture was when I was in Florence as a School Trip during middle school. We saw like the actual (or rather the fixed) David and I was amazed by the size of that thing. It was so big and great that it looked almighty and scary. Even if it was a still, it looked like it was looking down to you, watching you, observing you and it looked like it was gonna do something to you, but you just don't know when and I kept looking at it.

Again, I don't sculpt that often but I like to look at these sculptures. They are truly great.
halleymurray Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
todo sucumbe por el tiempo ya sean obras o vidas , la verdad es que pienso que cuando uno hace una obra ,coloca todo su esfuerzo para que se exprese lo que se esta sintiendo en ese momento de su tiempo , las obras tal vez no duren pero lo que se intento plasmar eso durara , cada vez que se vea esa obra o los restos de esa obra , se vera el esfuerzo y las ganas por expresar sentimientos de la vida de este ser que el tiempo dejo caer su mirada , para convertirla en pasado , y un consejo nunca botes los trabajos fallidos por que tu también le pusiste tiempo a ese trabajo que no salio , solo debes conservarlo , para que en el futuro ese error sea la ventana para una nueva inspiración
:) visiten mi pagina, nos vemos compañeros artistas ;)
RaInsTar447 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Student General Artist
I agree that statues are enduring. Marble is like the everlasting medium. It demands the viewer interact with the statue, as the viewpoint changes, so does the light, the angle, even what you are seeing. It is also a physical manifest of dreams or revelations.
jshapeshifter Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011
Soooooooooooooooooo many great artists and opinions only to prove that 3D art is on the rise !! Read them all!! jss
Nya18 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
1. I don't think the medium the artists chooses has anything to do with it lasting. If everyone thought that then no one would paint or draw anymore.

2. Any type of art can make any type of statement to anyone.

3. I've sculpted the head of a person before. That person influenced a bit of the musical part of my life. I know that I probably won't ever meet the guy now since he passed away, but the sculpture shows part of my thanks to him in a way and to the band where he's from. My first real experience with sculpture was when I went to an art museum and just looking at the shadows on nude sculptures and the emotions they give from the poses they make always reminds me of how our own human bodies can be used as a subject without it seeming sexual.
Itti Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Why does it say July 8 at the top if it was submitted November 19?
GisaPizzatto Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Featured: [link]
FS-XXVII Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011   Interface Designer
Paintings may be burned, but they linger in the mind. Digitals may be deleted, but their essence will remain in the artist. Permanence is in no way material.
NPlusPlus Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Personally, I'd brush this topic off... at least on the premise you're presenting it as. Paintings can burn, yes, and sculptures can be smashed, weathered, and crumble - there are plenty of examples of that throughout the ages. I'm not sure how you can say that sculptures are a medium of "permanence".
RivenRoth740 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Student General Artist
michelangelo's david is just perfect. in all ways.
Add a Comment:

:iconhq: More from hq

Featured in Collections

News + Journals by Moonbeam13

Journals by ColorfulArtist86

Journal Faves by Amjara

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
November 18, 2011


30,985 (1 today)
203 (who?)