Bronze Sculpture

 

Monumental Cervantes Bronze

 

Dedicated to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616), Spanish novelist, dramatist and poet.  Author of DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA, considered to be the foundation of the modern novel.  His life parallels the early colonization of New Mexico by the Spanish.

 

"My 'Cervantes' began as a small clay sculpture about life-size, created in the spring of 1994.  It was one of the first bronzes I had cast later that year.  [Bronzes are made by molding an original piece, making a wax of the mold, investing the wax, melting the wax out, and then pouring the molten bronze in.] 

 

"In 1995 I started two marbles of Cervantes about four feet in length, one in Spanish Black, the other in Badillo, an Italian grey.  James Moore, Director of the Albuquerque Museum, paid a studio visit, and we discussed the possibility of a piece going to the museum.  I visited the two sculpture areas outside the museum and decided, for my own development as a sculptor, to create a major bronze piece, hoping that it would be possible for one cast to be sited in Albuquerque.

 

"A large block of styrofoam about 6 X 6 X 10 feet was obtained; this was too small, so layers of two inch sheets were laminated to it for a larger beginning size.  John Jago of Preferred Finishing in Loveland, Colorado, started to "point up" the small bronze (this is an old method of mathematically enlarging sculpture that is still in use today).  When a small piece is created, it has its own scale of shapes and forms; these may not work ten times larger.  In other words, a tiny area in the life-size piece which is fine, becomes a serious problem in the monumental sculpture.  I abandoned the "point up" method, and just "eye-balled" the small piece to create the large one, carving the foam with a light-weight gardening chainsaw.

 

"Cervantes was in the army of the Spanish fleet, fought valiantly and was wounded in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.  This came to mind as I was standing next to the chin and beard.  I enlarged and shaped the beard to suggest the prow of a ship.  I also accentuated the "roll" of the head for a kinetic impression of this large mass rolling on water.  The material over the foam shape is taxidermist's paper mache, whcih I love for fluid, clay-like properties.  The surface, I believe, reflects my background as an abstract expressionist painter, which I was for almost thirty years."

 

~ Written at the Request of Ellen Landis, Retired Director of the Albuquerque Museum 

Amitabha, 1995, bronze and gold plate, 11" x 18.5" x 16.25"

 

Bosnia II, 1995, bronze, 18" x 17.75" x 6.75"

 

D. H. Lawrence, 1998, bronze, steel and stone, 105" x 53" x 47"

 

Ezra (Fountain)

 

Fugitive Poetry, 1995-96, bronze, 17" x 12" x 12"

 

India Mourning, 1996, bronze, 16" x 19" x 5"

 

Jehanne, 1995, bronze, 13.5" x 9.5" x 9.5"