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Araich 10-02-2004 06:00 PM

Too mach balanced too mach control
2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by shlomo
I don't want to be a rude, but I will – this forum need a provocative item from time to time –
I like your work - I PAID ATTENTION TO EVERY ONE OF THEM – THEY ARE special and unique. They are beautiful and beautiful balanced, too mach balanced in my test, and they are in good fitness – look like they are going every day to a gymnasium - to be ready, to be ready to the next client.
YOU are to much organized , thinking to mach, polishing and shining, and burnishing, pay attention to every detail , to the final touch up, keeping every thing in your control – It's look like you are afraid – afraid of loosing control.
I don't know – you are so mach talented – that you don't need to think about something different something more - that you don't need anything more.
Forgive my English, and forgive me – I did not mean to heart anyone- just to understand more.
Too mach balanced too mach control.


Originally Posted by ironman
...I also like Araich's work, Asymmetrical yet well balanced and with feeling. I find the finish on his pieces astounding. I think he raises the bar a notch or two when it comes to well made, extremely well finished sculpture. The only problem with painted sculpture (I sometimes spray paint mine, but I hate the process) is that every time you move them, they get scratched or chipped. My solution, work in stainless steel!
There is a certain pressure being applied today (by galleries, clients, etc.) to do highly finished work and I think that Araich (I don't mean to speak for you) is just responding to that as well as his own inner drive as a truly Professional sculptor. Perhaps, Shlomo, you are right about TOO MUCH control and balance in the work. I know you didn't mean any of that as an insult to him but just as FOOD FOR THOUGHT. I do think you have brought up a valid point though as Araich seems to dot every "i" and cross every "t", but that's him and that's the way he expresses himself. That's what separates all of us. "personal expression" IS what it's all about! Look at the difference between his work and Ted T Stanke's work, WOW! Both teriffic sculptors but at opposite ends of the spectrum!
It'll be interesting to see where this thread goes.
Have a great day,


Originally Posted by shlomo
...I like your work, (Araich), and that was the reason I responded to them emotionally.
I'm sure you are strong and tough enough to get this kind of criticism.
It is not important, and it is no significant, especially in this kind of forum, to react only positively.

shlomo you make a fair point and I take no offense at your comment. Indeed your critique is not an uncommon one.

Interestingly, in the making I spend little time focused on control, and with balance I mostly seek to defy it. Balance only becomes a critical component as I often ride a fine line that can cause the work to fall over. Compositional balance is something I merely flirt with, as I sincerely hope that I pull back just enough to keep it interesting. The degree to which, of course, is a subjective thing.

The 'high' finish is at it's most basic the result of my removing all the accidental and incidental marks. The drive behind this is to remove the destraction I find that pitting or other imperfections make to an otherwise uniform surface, distractions that steal from the form. At a certain point in a uniform finish you have to go all the way, or pull back to an irregular, character rich surface. This at least has been my experience.

Being somewhat aware of the limits this approach has, I have begun a series of more fluid and textured works, and it has helped me to loosen up. So far I have not taken this to work of greater mass, but can see room to broaden my palette and not retard the evolution in my work.

I could be wrong, but I don't feel that I am failing as an artist.

ironman 10-02-2004 09:16 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Hey Araich, Who said you were failing as an artist? Certainly not me, I have the upmost admiration & respect for your work. I don't like all of it but I like MOST (95%) of it. As far as that "finish" business, I hate spray painting but some pieces demand it SO I spray using automotive primers, enamels and a clear coat. Only to have a client of mine say "I like the rusted pieces better". Well, I paint some, leave some rusty, sometimes I wire brush the loose rust off and then clear coat them. I've always worked this way and feel that the piece tells me how to finish it and what color to use. Don't ask me to explain that, as I can't! I've also started working in stainless and that means when it's done, it's done, and there's NO WORRY about scratched or chipped paint!
I think you're a fine professional artist and everything I've seen from you leads me to the conclusion that we could ALL learn from your example.
Have a great day,

shlomo 10-03-2004 01:43 AM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Thank you Arich for answering I have been sure that you are bigger than this kind of little criticism , but yours good friend , ( I don't blame them) (I don't blame anyone) made me feel guilty and defensive.
- I'm looking at Karo's and Gonzales's metal sculptures and even Smith's – they are not beautiful like your pieces, they are not beautiful at all – they are not trying to be – their sculptures (admit - I'm comparing you to the best) are trying to cache something else- something spiritually - they are struggling with themselves, with their metal mind,
I'm sure you do too,
But it seemed to me that yore main struggle is with the metal itself, to find the nice lines, The most nice carve, and to get it from the hard metal.
You want your sculptures to be pretty and beautiful - this is my main criticize to your work - you succeed – it is enough for you – their are no monster in, behind, or after your beautiful work.
Like Robert Redford in his movies – he don't really act, HE DO NOT GIVING ME HIS SOUL, the most important for him in every single film, is to be beautiful – to remain Robert Redford - and he succeed too.

Excuse my beautiful English but
What is the drive after ? of? your new work? now after you find your ability, your certain wonderful talent ?

Araich 10-03-2004 03:43 AM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Ah, the word beauty. Somehow seen as weak and easy. I say, look harder.

I confess to having made many simple joyful studies, pure notes and soft unified compositions. But it is not all that I do. They are just some of the words I use in my work, words that are capable of making complex and meaningful statements. However you want to read it; sweetly sung or screaming, it is the phrase that counts.

I don't want my sculpture to be pretty or beautiful, but I am smart enough not to destroy it (beauty) because on the surface it may appear light. Have you heard of the wolf in sheeps clothing?

Steel sculpture comes with a great deal of baggage. That simply means we have lots of cloths to choose from.

JAZ 10-03-2004 08:37 AM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
It seems to me that the difference between Araich's goals and Schlomo's is like the different between water and earth. One is smooth and reflective, the other is coarse and tactile. Both have power and depth in their own ways.

shlomo 10-03-2004 04:25 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control

Originally Posted by Araich
. Have you heard of the wolf in sheeps clothing?

that is the reason I'm watching you - trying to shoot you . :D

anne (bxl) 10-04-2004 05:59 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Araich, you don't have to defend or justify yourself!
They are in the world as many type of artists as type of characters!
Some like it extravert, full of impulsive ideas to throw out.
Some like it introvert, a few selected ideas deeply built.
Even if the second attitude is my personal favorite, sometimes the spontaneous process of the first one could be a usefull exercise to open the mind but not a final process of creation. 10-04-2004 09:31 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
almost missed this most important discussion. Art is provocation all else decoration

Robert Derr

Araich 10-05-2004 12:44 AM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Anne, you make an interesting point. That of process. It may not be apparant but I work in a very fluid and loose way, with it not uncommon for me to turn a work upside, or cut it in half during the making. Whether this is written into the work or not does not overly interest me. I do almost no planning, and rarely have an early idea of the outcome.

Thank you ironman, it was very kind of you to say that.

ExNihiloStudio 10-07-2004 09:50 AM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
I think there are two interesting issues under all of this: beauty and craft. Sooner or later a sculptor has find answer to those and Araich’s work exemplifies a possibility.

Quoth Araich: “The drive behind this is to remove the distraction I find that pitting or other imperfections make to an otherwise uniform surface, distractions that steal from the form.” In other words, the craft is working towards the ultimate goal of the piece, an expression of a particular kind of form. It’s not a process for the sake of a process which I think is a major stumbling block to contemporary artists. So if a stray grinder mark or random pit interferes with what the piece is trying to do or is about, take it out. The craft supports the higher purpose of the piece and as far as I’m concerned it’s this sort of logical rigor that is the high road to greatness. It’s also based on experience which is also extremely important. “Too much control” doesn’t seem germane because it doesn’t take Araich’s work on its own terms.

Is beauty a sign of weakness? Perhaps if you’re an ascetic who sleeps on a bed of nails it is. I personally think that making it look ‘right’ matters and it’s worth finding what looks ‘right’ in art and architecture. If you’re not interested in beauty you’re probably not interested in the material world.

There seems to be a strange fascination with the grotesque nowadays, and I one argument I’ve heard about it that the grotesque is incomplete. The classical distills many possibilities into a solution that seems so perfect that nothing could be changed without ruining it and is therefore complete. In this sense the quest for perfect form is classical. I personally would like to learn more about the grotesque versus the classical as a possible way to understand parts of the contemporary art scene.

ironman 10-08-2004 09:17 AM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Hi Mark, I think what you're talking about, making it "look right" and the quest for perfect form are one and the same. I think one has to be careful here as many times when things look right, it's because it looks like stuff we've seen before, things that are accepted into the canon of Truth/Beauty. I don't know if I can put this into words but this groping for the grotesque is to me a search for a new way out of the T/B conundrum. We are all influenced by the accepted "masterpieces" and other works that we've seen and it is very hard to go beyond that. Our work may look different but is essentially based on the same compositional elements, constructivist qualities, etc. So maybe we should strive to do work that looks "WRONG"? That is what I see the essense of this grotesque business to be about. We're still under the cubist, constructivist umbrella in a lot of ways and I personally see an awful lot of redundancy in the work being done today. The work may look different but to a trained and educated eye, it's just a regurgitation of those old cubist/constructivist principles that are almost 100 yrs. old. So, to move sculpture forward (or backward, if you prefer) those cubist/constructivist principles have to be thrown out in order to achieve a NEW idea of truth/beauty which is more relevant to the times in which we live. Ergo, the grotesqueries! I think that if the work has "truth" (whatever that is), it will have beauty. Also, things that are accepted and seen often enough seem to slide into that T/B realm.
I don't know if I've made any sense to you or to myself for that matter.
have a nice day,

ExNihiloStudio 10-08-2004 12:28 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
That does make sense and it raises more interesting issues, e.g. tradition, novelty, and truth in art.

I agree with your reasons for why the grotesque is currently being explored by many artists, but I have my doubts about how far grotesque art can advance the state of the art or establish a durable tradition to work with. It’s definitely not accepted by everyone, and I suspect there is a prior history of the grotesque already written which will diminish the chances of reorganizing our current expectations of beauty. The overthrow of an established tradition in order to start something new is such a well established pattern that it could be called a tradition unto itself, in other words it’s the tradition of denying tradition.

I personally think that today the bigger picture is actually tradition versus tradition. I’ve picked up this idea from Alasdair MacIntyre who is a philosopher and I’ve been interested in applying it to art. If any artist reading this has encountered MacIntyre please write to me because in my little world I don’t know anyone else who is working on this.

If I saw a work of art that demonstrates ideas that were first articulated 100 years ago (for the sake of argument I’m saying this), I don’t ask myself “Is this new?”, instead I ask myself “Is this well done?” “Well done” being a standard coming from within the tradition the piece is operating within. To use your example, does the piece exemplify Constructivist ideas and does it add new words to the Constructivist vocabulary? At the very least is it a perfect example of the type? Is it a more perfect example of the tradition of Constructivism and hence represent an advancement, in other words is it state of the art? Regarding the bigger picture I mentioned above, could we ask if Constructivism answers all the other traditions out there? Can it encompass and refute the grotesque, for example? I’m just wondering aloud about this last one, I’m not even sure I know what it means, it’s just my way of trying out MacIntyre.

shlomo 10-08-2004 01:34 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control

Originally Posted by ironman
I think that if the work has "truth" (whatever that is), it will have beauty. I don't know if I've made any sense to you or to myself for that matter.

To me you made a lot of sense. The beauty emerges when you succeed to touch your inner truth - to be loyal to your soul – it is not so simple as it sounds, especially when you have complex and interesting personality – after all only than you can create something really stimulating , moving, and touching. 10-08-2004 09:45 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Quote Ironman "..."truth" (whatever that is), it will have beauty..." end quote

"... Beauty is truth and truth, beauty "...:Keats, Ode To A Grecian Urn

And all art is provocation or else it is decoration


ironman 10-09-2004 09:04 AM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Hi Everyone, Yeah, Shlomo and rderr are right about that truth/beauty thing. That being said, I wanted to say a few words here about "how far grotesque art can advance the state of art or establish a durable tradition to work with". First of all, the word "advance" can be confusing because it's connotation is "better" and in art, that's not the case. In art "advanced" should read as "different" or as "reflecting the time in which we live". After all, one cannot say for certainty or prove beyond a doubt that Rodin is better than Michelangelo (which he isn't) or that Picasso is better than DaVinci (which he is). (The parenthetical remarks are only my opinions and not really germaine to the subject at hand). Their art is just different and reflects the times in which they lived.
There are no "durable traditions", but only the ones that you choose to work within. Now you might say that realism is a durable tradition and you would certainly have a point, but there isn't much of a connection between Duane Hanson's realistic fiberglass figures, Rodin's "Burghers" or Michelangelo's "David", is there?
The tradition of denying a tradition, AKA the "avant garde", is dead, at least for now.
We are ALL still working under the influence of Picasso, he changed art, from painting to sculpture to printmaking and ceramics in ways that are astounding! He not only changed the look and the way we look at art but he also changed the process in every medium that he touched. Without him, there would be no Smith, Pollock, deKooning, Rauschenburg, Johns, Serra, deSuvero, etc., etc.
We live in an age that is so different from anything that has come before and is changing so rapidly that we can't keep up with it, can't express it in traditional art techniques/styles/isms/whatever, because art is too slow moving for our times. Art as we know it is dying, having lost it's ability to impact the world in any significant way, so maybe you're right, maybe it is "tradition vs. tradition" as the only way to keep the boat afloat. but I don't think so, I think that we need a "new Picasso" to lead us back out into the light of the 21st century and that "new Picasso" will do it with or on a COMPUTER!
I for one have a nagging feeling that what I do (non objective welded steel sculpture,and I've had some success at it) is meaningless to most and that shortly after my death will be seen as relics of an ancient past. If I were a young man, (I'll be 58 this month) I'd immerse myself in the computer and create my art work with it. The computer is the future of art and is the "state of the art" TODAY!
Just as I, when younger, couldn't bring myself to do realistic work after having seen Pollocks "Lavendar Mist" and Smith's "Cubis", a child of today wont be picking up a paint brush or clay after having seen what a computer can do.
We live in the age of anxiety, anything goes, I hear the buzz about artists doing "sensationalist" works to try to grab the art publics attention and become the next new "hot" artist, etc., and that may be the case for some of those artists but I think that the underlying theme here is a desperate and futile attempt to find an "ism" that expresses how we feel and how we live, TODAY! I think that's also what drives this realism/non-objective debate, or as you put it, tradition vs. tradition. We're looking for a way or maybe it's a way out of the miasma that we find ourselves in. I know that all work done in the present is always achored in some respect to the works done in the past (tradition) but today we're traveling at the speed of light and those past works that give us an anchor are disappearing off the radar screen faster than you can say "Jeff Koons"!
I've never read MacIntyre, can you recommend any books by him?
Well, that's enough of my rambling on and on, at least for today.
Have a nice day,

shlomo 10-09-2004 01:51 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Hi Jeff and everyone, I like your "rambling on and on" and off - your "rusty" writing about art (very sharp and polished thinking)
you took the sentence : "reflecting the time in which we live" very seriously more seriously then we should – in a way this kind of thinking is an old idée-fix. It belongs too to the past – it doesn't belong any more to our rapid and intensive time, as you said – it belongs to the "traditional" way of thinking. Not only art should bring something new, but the way we are thinking about art, about the task of art, is also waiting to a new Picasso.

Jeff, you caused me to be curious about your work but I didn't find any of your works in the forum, could It be? 10-09-2004 01:56 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Quote Jeff"...The computer is the future of art and is the "state of the art" TODAY!..." end quote

And is just another tool, Jeff. Each time there are technical advances, and they come fast and furious, we have the same anxieties. Yes, Picasso taught us to see things in “real time” but he himself leaned that from African art. Where the 20th century left the rails was with confusion of materials and tools being the message, and not at the service of the message. The tool is man’s dialogue with materials and sculpture is the dance of tool and material.


Araich 10-09-2004 05:14 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Craft serves art. Absolutely.

It may now be impossible to take the kind of leap forward that Picasso et al did. Our modern world denies the kind of cultural shock available in the early 20th century. However within traditions there persists a number of artifical limitations, the worst I would say is 'truth to material'. For example, that steel should remain industrial in appearance, or glass a container. When we let go of these preconceptions, deny the tradition, there is hope for significance.

The other thing that I would add, is that in all of this, the journey of the artist is paramount. This personal journey makes a fool of art history, and in the end is the only path to true art.

fritchie 10-09-2004 07:51 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control; computers
My principal take on the computer is that it frees a sculptor from gravity, and if you like, even material. Consider the reflective, twinned dog-monster on the cover of a recent “Sculpture”. That was presented as a slide at last year’s “Figuratively Speaking “ conference in New Jersey, and it was composed and I’m sure also executed using computer graphics.

With nonmaterial, computerized sculpture, one could produce at least 3D images of sculptures formed of large, solid blobs, or sharp, thin, angular wisps held in place or entwined with silk-thin fiber. And kinetic pieces are possible also, at least in principle. Computing power in personal machines is growing so rapidly, these possibilities should be real in not-too-many years.

At the same time, I’ve watched predictions of “next year’s computers” so often and seen them wrong so often, that I know to wait for reality before jumping into the water.

And, I don’t think Picasso changed realism by much at all. True, he was extraordinarily original and productive, but even his most realist works skipped the fact. 10-10-2004 07:51 AM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Quote Fritchie "...but even his most realist works skipped the fact...."end quote


Have you ever seen nanny-goat more full of milk than Picasso's?


fritchie 10-10-2004 08:40 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control

Originally Posted by
Quote Fritchie "...but even his most realist works skipped the fact...."end quote


Have you ever seen nanny-goat more full of milk than Picasso's?


You mean the one with bicycle horns and a bicycle seat-head? Or am I getting two pieces confused? I do recall the full mammaries. 10-10-2004 09:05 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
Quote Fritchie "...Or am I getting two pieces confused? I do recall the full mammaries...."end quote


The handle-bars and seat are Toramachie, Piscasso's answer to Marcel Duchamp's pieces done with "found objects". Picasso was so not much an innovator, as he was a sponge. He soaked up every thing and spit it out as some thing very new and personnel. The Nanny-goat is a full size milk goat in bronze so very realistic that if you look under the hairs you will find ticks. Most people think they are casting vents but they are to well placed to be by chance.


anne (bxl) 10-11-2004 04:07 AM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
2 Attachment(s)
Quote Fritchie "...Or am I getting two pieces confused? I do recall the full mammaries...."

fritchie 10-11-2004 07:50 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control: Picasso and goats
Bob and Anne - Thanks for clarifying this matter, but I doubt any living goat ever looked like this. I have seen only one in my life outside of zoos that I recall, and it was in a very country yard standing on top of a car or pickup truck. I’ve seen many in zoos and in photos or TV, but none like this.

He also did some rather naturalistic portraits early in his career, but without looking back to review them, I again say that I see no advance in realism. Realism, as any other art form, actually is full of artifice, because the artist him/herself is expressing life in a generally nonliving, more or less permanent medium. I see no contribution that Picasso made in this field, though I’m open to being persuaded.

sculptor 10-11-2004 09:08 PM

Re: Too mach balanced too mach control
here is a good site for an overview of Pablo Picasso's works

I agree about the realism thing-(not all that good really)-------Picasso was primarily a sketch artist, though known as a painter.......someone once claimed he had produced 40,000 works of art in his 84 productive years...????? ...maybe a definition of "art" is needed here----anyway he was darned prolific and when he left realism behind in early 1900s his annual output doubled from 120-130/yr to over 200, then almost 300 ---he liked it fast and dirty---and his changes make it hard to say anything about the works as they were different over the decades-----interesting that he revisited realism sketching at the end.....

on average, I actually like only about 10-20% of Pablo's works and consider only a handfull to be truely great-------if he was a great pivot point for art...I musta slept through that

Back to Ariach's work--------craft serves art absolutely, and in Robert's case, craft serves it well.


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