Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Had To- 2011-12

Before I begin to describe this statue, its meaning and a description of the process I would like to say a few grateful thank you's, I could not have completed this great undertaking with out your support and guidance.

My family- My professors at SAIC- My roommates and friends-
All who inspired me, who guided me
who helped and encouraged me to continue striving for greatness.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And Lastly this piece has been dedicated to the memory of my late mother.

This piece entitled: I had To- was begun in early September 2011 and completed in march of 2012. Totaling estimated 1000 hours of work time has been the ultimate culmination of all of the artistic intentions and skills that I have developed throughout my 4 years at SAIC. It began with a simple and partly mad idea to create a statue of myself.

(You might notice that these plans are for a articulating statue whose construction became unfeasible)

From there I experimented with the design by creating a small wax version of my proposed idea.

After I realized that the articulation of the design did not fit what I ultimately wanted to say I began to create a statue that reflected (while still innovating upon) classical Greek/Roman Statue. After much research into statues and stances of all kinds my goals were that the statue would be in a classical contrapposto stance, nude, and have a smooth marble like surface (with some exceptions).

And so I began to take molds of my body (so as to ensure the statue was as true to life as possible). To your left you can see an example of one of the 14 (two sided) plaster gauze molds that it took to acquire a full body cast of myself.
For more detailed sections of my body (Face, hands, feet, ears, and crotch) I used a product called Alginate; which is a product made from seaweed typically used to take dental molds. It is a non toxic, temporary mold that captures fantastic detail.

Through out the mold making process a brown foundry wax was painted or cast into the molds and then joined together piece by piece. Taking special care to constantly measure each section to ensure no errors were made during the wax working process. Once again to verify that the statue was as true to life as possible.

After that the was pattern was cut into smaller more manageable chunks and dipped into a ceramic slurry mixed with sand.
And finally cast in aluminum!
From there the different sections were removed from their cups and gates and welded together (See post entitled "Face shield" for greater detail on the casting process and the meaning of those terms).

After much surface treatment: Grinding, sanding, buffing and finally patination the statue was ready to be mounted on a pedestal complete with plaque and piece description. It was Initially shown in the Spring Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition (2012) at SAIC and is currently under review for appearing in several other shows to follow.