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  #1  
Old 12-12-2013, 03:26 PM
Tucson Tucson is offline
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Artistic goals of nude sculpture

Many of the sculptors who participate in this forum (including me) take the female nude as their subject. These pieces usually look a lot like the luscious, realistic nudes of the 16th through the 19th centuries. But art museums haven’t bought or displayed this type of artwork for nearly a century; art critics seldom bother to review such creations; and “top” galleries don’t show these sculptures. Instead, contemporary “fine artists” use the body to raise social and political issues and to comment on gender, race, age, etc.* So, the natural question for the sculptors of nudes who come to this forum is, “What are your artistic goals? Are they the same as those of past centuries: to represent young, beautiful bodies (with more than a little dose of unspoken sensuality)?” Or are your goals something other than either ideal beauty or social commentary? Please don’t waste your time knocking the current art establishment. Instead, I’d like to ask you, if you sculpt female (or male) nudes, “What, specifically, are you aiming for in your work?” These are questions that I’ve been asking myself, and I look forward to learning from you.
*Frances Borzello, The Naked Nude, 2012.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:20 PM
raspero raspero is offline
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Re: Artistic goals of nude sculpture

If I had to state my principal interest in making a sculpture, I would say it is to create beauty. My subjects have varied widely; the female figure is among them. Political correctness does not enter into my work. I neither react to it, fly in the face of it, nor accommodate it. I do what lights my fire and I let them say what they will.

Several well known quotes come to mind:

"If God had intended for man to wear clothes we would be born with them."

"If the human body offends you, don't tell me; complain to its creator."

My work is also a subtle laugh at the world, at how seriously we take ourselves. The inability to laugh at ourselves may be the most dangerous threat facing mankind.

My life is a moveable feast of beauty. I love beautiful women, beautiful automobiles, beautiful boats, buildings, landscapes. I both celebrate it, and add to it.

Richard
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2013, 11:13 PM
rika rika is offline
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Re: Artistic goals of nude sculpture

Interesting (and intriguing) questions that indeed are useful if not essential to ask ourselves from time to time. I will give it some thought and report back with my findings. I am very attached to the figure but not the traditional kind.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:13 AM
RWJR RWJR is offline
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Re: Artistic goals of nude sculpture

To me there is a familiarity with the figure that helps demonstrate the technique of carving steel with o/a torch, the control of the flame carving especially. The figure is universally understood and therefore the figure as subject matter become less important or curious than the technique. I do make abstract pieces but have always felt the figure captures the strength of the method best. Also I feel there is some gravitational pull in the direction of the figure that is probably in my genetic make up, I don't need to investigate this feeling, it is just satisfying to participate and make! Everything else (related to the figure) may be non-sense, such as metaphors, symbolism and narratives , I love non-sense!
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:40 AM
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allenmautz allenmautz is offline
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Re: Artistic goals of nude sculpture

A great topic! Over the past few years this has subject has been increasingly on my mind as my work has developed. I became somewhat bored with the typical sit, stand, recline poses so began working with movement. Although beauty and sensuality are integral parts of the pieces, I am attempting to create a moment in time, an emotion, a memory the viewer might identify with. It is my opinion that the human form offers both timeless and endless sources for creative expression in spite of what the current trends may be....
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:24 PM
raspero raspero is offline
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Re: Artistic goals of nude sculpture

Allen,

I have a book called Rodin—On Art and Artists which is a series of conversations had by Rodin and Paul Gsell. One chapter is on movement in figurative sculpture. It was a revelation to me. Rodin said as how most sculptors make a snapshot of a figure, a pose that represents the position of a figure at a particular instant in time. He said this is wrong. It make the figure look frozen, not fluid. He spoke in depth about how the viewer's eye moves along the sculpture through time, and how the figure should change through time as well. For instance, if the natural flow on the eye is from the head down to the feet, then the feet should be in a later position than the head, later by the amount of time it takes the eye to move through the sculpture, or drawing.

Richard
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:25 AM
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allenmautz allenmautz is offline
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Re: Artistic goals of nude sculpture

Thanks Richard for sharing this insight... I would love to read that work and will have to see if I can locate the book. Some poses are simply static in that they have reached the apex of the movement. I have been tending away from these. I have found it to be a constant challenge to find ways to express motion. Careful use of cloth and hair has been sometimes helpful for me as long as it is integral to the formal structure of the piece, or at least compliments it. But it is no substitute for the lines and forms and space that portray movement. I will have to study your insights here and see how I can possibly incorporate it.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:32 PM
raspero raspero is offline
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Re: Artistic goals of nude sculpture

I bought it here

http://store.doverpublications.com/0486244873.html
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