Ok, so, like, I was thinking, and uh, well… I kind of like these pieces. And I didn’t even burn them.
I initially created ‘Constrained’ with plans for a patterned Hercules figure to dominate the centaur, but mid-way through the process I found the abstracted shape more compelling than finishing the illustration of Giambologna’s sculpture, from which it is derived. In my previous pieces (and more clearly seen here) there is an evolution of focus on the victimized character while allowing the oppressor’s presence to be implied and/or subverted. In a similar mentality of redacting a character from the piece the absence of depicting the features of the victim redacts another step of information, pushing the work into a focus on it’s formal qualities and the awesome shadows obtained through the structures. Oddly, all the content of my earlier works is present, yet there is a broader implication in the work when not illustrating specifics.
In my next piece, ‘Concession,’ I took this new methodology and forced it into a more active direction, cutting several more angles into the ‘character’ and generating a larger, angled structure primarily for the shadows it would cast. The graphic line-work on the character seems to simulate landscape, but is actually derived from a statistical record of Regional Violent Crime in the US from 2002-2011. This links back to the ‘Culture of Honor‘ society of Southern reputational violence, which has influenced several of my works. (It is not quite environmental determinism as it is a cultural construct, but it can be geographically influenced which is interesting.)
So, most importantly, this style of working is a pretty huge step for me into a more sculptural and less illustrative way of making. I am quite excited by it. I doubt I can ever give up the figure entirely, but these shifts are exciting as ways to progress into new investigations even while using the same resources.