Recently, as a result of my graduate studies, I have become interested in what other sculptors think in regard to the technique of bodycasting. My main interest, and the reason I am attending NYAA, is to develop my understanding and ability to render the human form to a high level...with my reference point being reality.....and expressly to do it with my own skills and talent. That puts me at the opposite end of the spectrum from this technique and firmly in the camp of bodycasting not rising to the level of Art. (Well, maybe art with a lowercase "a".)
That being said, I will say that there are some sculptors that use bodycasting as a preliminary to a further process and I wouldn't consider them as true bodycasting sculptors. The best example that comes to mind of this type of sculptor would be Antony Gormley. His work does not bear the image of the person being cast rather it is a rough framework for him to build upon and manipulate. His figures are worked beyond this technique and have meaning in their own right as a result. ( To see what I am refering to go to http://www.antonygormley.com
Those who follow in the footsteps of the grandfather of bodycasting, George Segal, however, are, in my opinion, creating something, but it isn't Art. Their work is dependent upon the likeness drawn from the bodycast to give their work legitimacy. Herein is the problem I have. The likeness has nothing to do with their ability or skill. How they may compose or patinate the figures is the extent of their artistic effort. This in and of itself, I think, does not rise to the level of sculpture or art. A very good example of this type of sculptor is Marc Quinn with his "sculpture" of Alison Lapper in Trafalgar Square. Not only did he rely upon a bodycast of his subject as the positive for his work, he then had other artisans transfer and carve it in marble. You can go to http://www.marcquinn.com/
to see the above mentioned work.
I am interested in hearing what other sculptors, figurative and non-figurative might think about this and why. By all means try and convince me otherwise if you are in favor of bodycasting. I by no means have a comprehensive understanding of the subject.
A point, my interest is in a dialogue not a brawl. Please keep posts on topic.