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I started a series of standing figures last year continuing a theme that I have been playing with over the years - men with sticks.
I like the rhythm that is created when a number of these figures are grouped together . The pieces shown are the newer, larger, series of figures based on the Iliad. The finished figure is Idomeneus, a resin edition of 12, 2003. The clay guy is Meriones, the latest one. The idea was to use characters who actually stood together in adversity rather than the anonymous figures I used in the past.
I was really annoyed when I found out that they were making a movie version of the Iliad, I thought I had this obscure inspiration all to myself. A Friend told me I was being stupid and to " get over it" so I have.
I saw the advert for the movie again tonight so I thought I would post these.
05-14-2004, 09:27 AM
Beautiful work as usual, Alan. This guy is caught in the act of pondering ... something heavy, like the coming battle? The price of gas? I'm not up on the Iliad story. A series of these guys would make a hell of a chess set.
05-14-2004, 10:09 AM
Very nice, Alan. The scale of the staff works very well with the figure. I look forward to the images of the new one when it is complete.
And I'm torn on Troy. I am excited they made it but nervous they'll screw it up.
05-14-2004, 12:00 PM
honoring the classic with the figurative within the mytho-historical context
I think it's a wonderfully rich adventure-journey you're on.
Kind of reminds me of the Persian War Veteran I did several years ago--another inspired by the Getty Bronze-and the classics.---see pix
At Troy, Ajax son of Telamon--who was with the argonauts in the Colchis raid--was said to have carried a spear that was 16 ft long---I guess Ajax was a sturdy combatant who liked his battles and a safe distance ;)
as/re..."And I'm torn on Troy. I am excited they made it but nervous they'll screw it up."
not to worry, They'll screw up the mytho-history as you understand it.
eg:Few people get it that the trojan war was a continuation of the raid on Colchis...They both-controlled the tin trade fron the Caspean while Cyprus supplied the copper for the bronze age.--
--All Mytho-history must morph and contort (or stand off at an unrecognizable distance and simply inspire) to suit the artist within the chosen medium/discipline---bard, print, sculpture, paint, film---all have their own genre and strengths.....and within each there are current trends and norms. eg most american films have a linear plotline..
so, unless your completely autistic, you morph the art to play to your audience..and heritage..atleast in part.
Don't stop with 2
05-14-2004, 09:02 PM
Very nice pieces, Alan, and yours too, Rod. How large are your figures, Alan (exclusive of spear)?
I've been torn on the movie since I first heard of it, along with a picture of Brad Pitt as Achilles. Bad Pitt is a fine actor, but he really looks silly to my eye in that heavy armor. Today’s NY Times has a full treatment of the movie, and says that the director followed Homer only very loosely, and eliminated all “godly” or mythological aspects as well.
I’ll probably see it, as I first learned to read with the Greek classics. (My mother was an English major in college and a long-time elementary school teacher after my younger brother and I were in school.) She first read me both the Greek myths and the German - Scandinavian (Grimm) fairy tales, and later, as possible, I read them myself. They (both sets of myths or tales) make a great start for education.
Great comments - food for thought and fuel for my confidence. Thanks
"...a spear that was 16 ft long..."
I started all this in the eighties with a small pike carrying soldier and all the trimmings (pic). In time I lost the need to be accurate and concentrated on 'why am I compelled to make these warrior figurines'. These figures are where I am with that question thus far - men hold sticks women hold vessels.
"...wonderfully rich adventure-journey..."
I was drawn to Homeric poetry because of it's representational success and age. It’s very very old and yet I see my peers and myself in the poems. I am very interested in what we do consistently, though the ages and across cultures (as Dr. Laura might say ‘if you want to know what (they) will do, look at what (they) have been doing’)
"...Bad Pitt is a fine actor, but..."
A big influence on these stripped down figures are those actors who have been able to totally sell me on the realism of their performance, in street clothes with nothing more than a space a chair and a broomstick. (empathy)
The stick is 3ft and removable (I put a lot more emphasis on making the work archivally sound and simple – I learned the hard way it prevents many headaches)
05-15-2004, 04:51 PM
It is interesting how we feel most comfortable with something in our hands. I keep a few curious small tools and objects on my desk beside the guests chair. Invariably they pick them up and hold them while we talk. I wonder if it is helpful to negotiations?
However giving them a spear could weaken my negotiating position!
Alan, I love your work. They appear so purposeful and elegant in their simplicity. It is a great skill to pare down to that which matters.
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