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Merlion 07-25-2007 10:17 AM

Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
I agree the pose does not look like that of surfers, especially the two palms. It looks more like some Asian dance pose. And the stone base and what look like flowers at the back make things worse.

Amid criticism, artist defends Cardiff surfing sculpture

July 24, 2007, ENCINITAS -- The controversial Cardiff surfing sculpture is a misunderstood piece that is meant to show a skilled surfer performing a difficult maneuver, the sculptor who created the piece said Tuesday.

Some surfers say the statue misrepresents their sport, and that any decent surfer would never strike the pose sculptor Matthew Antichevich portrays in his sculpture.

Even as bloggers continue to flood the Internet with criticism, the 55-year-old artist said the cost of bronze kept him from fully elaborating his vision for "The Magic Carpet Ride" sculpture.

"I'm just kinda sad people don't understand what the surfer is doing," he said.....

Models of the sculpture show a surfer carving across the crest of a wave, looking for a place to land. .....

A boyish-looking surfer poses on his board, arms outstretched, hands and fingers pointed like those of a ballet dancer.

Critics say the surfer looks unnatural and effeminate; Antichevich disagrees.

Antichevich said he learned to surf in Cardiff and to sculpt in Florence, Italy, where he drew inspiration from the ancients.

With those and other credentials, Antichevich won a $92,000 commission to create the life-sized surfing sculpture now displayed at Chesterfield Drive and South Coast Highway 101. The city paid an additional $30,000 to install the piece. ....

GlennT 07-25-2007 12:18 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
My opinion... The modeling of the form is very nice. The guy has some very good talent, which makes the following more puzzling: The pose is quite goofy, I agree that it does not depict the sport, but instead a unique and odd moment. Merlion is right about it looking like an Asian dance pose, or like his next move is to put his palms together over his head and do that psuedo-Egyptian head move.
The cost of bronze should not have prevented him from creating a decent frothy wave instead of seaweed salad, espcially since he opted for an oddly inappropriate large stone for the base. Or am I the oddball for working for next to nothing sometimes in order to do the job right?
If a stone base was desired, it would have helped to have it shaped like a wave instead of looking like he got stuck on a large rock too close to shore, dragged some seaweed up the board, and decided to do a funny dance for good measure.

GlennT

underfoot 07-25-2007 03:11 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
2 Attachment(s)
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"I'm just kinda sad people don't understand what the surfer is doing," he said.....

I'm just kinda sad that the sculptor does'nt understand what a surfer does.
he obviously doesn't surf , thats ok, but a little research wouldn't have hurt.

fritchie 07-25-2007 07:57 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
As often, I agree with GlennT. Those "flowers" mentioned by Merlion pretty obviously are meant to represent waves cresting or crashing near the board, and if that was all that was wrong, the piece could be good. The body overall is very well done, showing quite a bit of sculptural talent and skill, but the pose is way off for a surfer, and the facial expression is plain silly. A look of anticipation was intended, I expect, but that's not how I read it.

Before I gave up TV some years back, I often caught surfing competitions through various sources, and this simply is not a balanced, active pose under any conditions. The images posted by Underfoot are good, with two very different, wide-armed moments. The one with the torso more folded probably is more typical under difficult, instantaneous conditions, but the open one would make a better sculpture.

Actually, that person seems to be riding a pipe, and that's not a generally very dynamic form for sculpture. Difficult to do, clearly, but a better pose would be with a wave cresting, as was chosen, and with the rider at a better moment, in a more open form.

[Added later, and those who know better, please forgive the errors.] No pipe involved. The more open figure, on the left, clearly is just finishing a strong turn, maybe 270 degrees. The one on the right, with a more folded pose, also seems to be finishing a turn, but at the end of a wave, and probably near shore.]

WeiMingKai 07-25-2007 10:25 PM

'kinda sad people don't understand'
 
Well I tried to follow the sculptors comments and I came up with this scenario.

The guy started his sculpt with the figure and ran out of money to include the necessary CONTEXT for his figure's pose to be understood.

If that pose is supposed to be of a figure throwing his hands out to counter balance the dynamic forces in action when surfing like when one has crested a wave/ riding down the face of a wave/executing a turn on a wave and/or has their center of gravity + inertial energy determining their pose at any given moment entirely determined by their relationship to the wave - you had damn well better include the wave in your sculpt or else you wind up with what this guy has got - a boatload of criticism for an incomprehensible pose.

If he need to make the wave out of paper mache and mount the bronze element on the wave, oriented in a way that makes the pose make sense, then that is what he has to do. Cut costs and wind up with a less 'elegant' mixed media piece instead of a hugely expensive 'bronze wave and rider' sculpt.

It comes down to poor planning - choosing a figure pose that is too context specific to be understood and then not including the context gets you a situation like this artist has. It's a shame too, the figure isn't all that bad and that bronze costs a LOT = money wasted now (and reputation smeared).

It is a lesson for anyone who wants to do 'action' sculpts - choose that pose carefully - make sure the project 'works'.

*Cue the Surfaris: WIPEOUT!*

;)

underfoot 07-25-2007 10:48 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
hmmm just looking at the asymetry of the abs and the belly,the stilted pose,
:eek: bodycast perhaps ?

dbusta 07-25-2007 11:17 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
I am a skateboarder , been sk8n 4 16 plus years . My first impression would be of a 9-12 year old boy on his first wave that he ever caught not sure how to move and where or how he shold be possed. I really like his choise definatly not one that many before have taken. bravo

fritchie 07-26-2007 08:09 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
I've done a little more research on this, since the artist and critics seem to be on different planets. Here's http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007...2207194940.txt a news article from a local paper, North County Times, with more background from local officials.

One of the principal organizers, Mike Clark, says some of the critics seemed to want a sculpture depicting a professional athlete in top form. From the article: ... But, he said, "we purposely didn't want to make it an Olympic Adonis," Clark said. "We wanted the everyday kid who uses the reef to surf."

My impression is that the surfer was body cast, with the head either "body cast" separately or, less likely, modeled. I couldn't find much on the artist, but here's http://www.triosgallery.com/artists_....php?artist=71 a gallery page with alternate concepts he submitted for the competition. Altogether, I'd say he did a good job with something that was bound to attract criticism. He seems to be a surfer first and a sculptor second.
Not unlike many of us, in a way.

The granite block, by the way, is much taller overall than the surfer and is intended to be part of a conceptual wave form.

tobias 07-27-2007 08:30 AM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
I have been on every sort of board you can ride skate snow wake surf ... this is not what some one looks like even there first time. The problem is not the lack of a wave its the lack of effort. I dont know too much about the price of bronze but 92000 is a lot of any other sort of metal so i bet its not about the money. Or is it this guy must be a greedy fool thinking he could pass off some silly crap he probably adapted from another piece he made and get the big pay day with out the work. sad the state of work ethic these days .

GlennT 07-27-2007 10:48 AM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
Tobias has that right.

I am in the early stages of a public art project that has a budget similar to this one. My proposal includes more than twice as much bronze, along with some other very complicated and involved elements, including some architectural components. If the funds raised only meet my minimum price, I will be doing a lot of work for very little financial gain. But I will have created a work of art that I will be quite proud of having applied my life's energies to do, and I believe it will be an inspiration to many.

Someone in a different thread said that he did not care what others thought of his work, but that it was about HIS drives, goals, ambitions, etc. He said that this attitude was like most other artists. I hope that is not really the case, although there is a lot of evidence to support this. Work that creates a disconnect between the public and the work serves what purpose? To gratify the ego and serve to support the artist's lfestyle?

While I need to pay my bills like anyone else, and while I have definite ideas about what type of art I want to be involved with creating, I strongly believe that the idea of Public ART is to serve the community, not to be served by it. That means taking the responsibility for presenting the highest quality of work possible, and taking into consideration that a work that forms part of the visual landscape of an environment will have either a positive, negative, or indifferent effect on people. So one should do all within their power to make it a positive effect. And one could hope for a profound effect as well. This attitude would elevate the stature of artists in the public mind.

It is my belief that the role of an artist who does public work is to interpret and represent the highest thoughts and aspirations of the people for whom the work is created. All else should be sublimated to achieve that goal in each piece. If that is not the standard, why not just show work in galleries and shows where people have the option to accept or reject, reward or not, the artist for their efforts, while not burdening the public at large with an incomplete effort?

GlennT

Ries 07-27-2007 11:24 AM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
Glenn, at least have the courage to use my name when you slam me.

As usual, you have used a series of undefinable personal opinions, misleading statements, and high horse tactics to paint yourself as the last honorable man alive.

I stand by my statement that the reason I make art is a combination of personal drives, needs, and inexplicable urges.
I feel no guilt or shame admitting that.
Every artist I know that is honest with themselves will admit that they too make art first to please themselves.

Of course, we all hope others will like our work.
And we all believe, deep in our hearts, that our art is sincere, meaningful, beautiful, timeless and relevant.

What you seem to have a problem with is the fact that your personal opinions about art, beauty, quality and taste are just that- YOURS, and OPINIONS.
While you, like every other self centered human believe you are right and everybody else is wrong, there is absolutely no objective way of proving that- its merely your ideas against the world's.

This is the classic Angry Bitter Underdog syndrome among artists.
This ABU has been going on as long as there have been artists. 20,000 years, if its a day.
The ABU believes that their art, and their unique vision, is RIGHT AND CORRRECT. The ABU believes that everyone who doesnt recognize their genius is a charlatan, a thief, a boor and an idiot.
They believe in the existance of vast, invisible conspiracies to deny them their rightful place in the pantheon of greatness.
They believe in mysterious cabals of art critics, who conspire to promote crap, while purposely snubbing their radiant genius.
(This alone proves the madness of their position- if you have ever actually read any art criticism, much less met critics in person, you would know that agreement between any two art critics is nigh on impossible- they are even more egotistical and unable to agree on anything than artists are, and for every critic that likes ANY given artist, I can find you two who hate them)

The ABU is, curiously enough, spread evenly across all genre's, skill levels, and even levels of success.
I have known ABU's who make several hundred thousand dollars a year, and still believe the entire "art world" (much like the entire herd of obedient cats) is against them. I have known others who are literally homeless, with the exact same feelings.
ABU's can be technically quite skilled, or total shams. They can be tradtional, or conceptual, modernist or figurative, work in any media, and be any age.

They share in common the belief that art is a zero sum game, and any time some one else is successful, it takes away from their own potential glory, their own obviously (everything, to an ABU, is "obvious") vastly more beautiful art.


When I make a public art piece, I have all the same feelings you do- I do genuinely try to serve the public, and make art for the site.
Every statement you made about your high standards and beliefs, is, of course, exactly how I feel too.

The difference is all in opinion- and, in your opinion, any art that is not to your taste (your personal, highly subjective taste) cannot be any good, and therefore is a scam.
While you may feel that my work makes a "a disconnect between the public and the work", whatever the heck that is supposed to mean, I, of course, feel differently.

As I have said before, the main difference between us is not our sincerity, or the heartfeltness of our beliefs, or our devotion to producing quality and beauty.

It is that I am willing to admit that your viewpoint, along with many others that are different from mine, have equal validity, right to exist, and audiences who love them, while you are insistent that you, and you alone, have the right to make judgements on aesthetics and "quality" and "beauty", and that you are always right, and that anyone who differs from you is wrong.

I feel sorry for you, as you are limiting the beauty, joy, and breadth of experience you will accept as valid by your narrow self imposed viewpoints.

Me, I can enjoy lots of art that I myself would never make. And I feel no qualms that anyone who actually knows me will realize that I am a professional, who cares deeply and thinks hard about what I do.

Nobody ever said you have to like it.

GlennT 07-27-2007 12:43 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ries
Glenn, at least have the courage to use my name when you slam me.

I could have done so on the post directly related to your work, but chose to be more diplomatic, by discussing the idea as an intellectual concept, rather than attacking personalities. If you would prefer a courageous slam, there are others that may be more willing to oblige.


As usual, you have used a series of undefinable personal opinions, misleading statements, and high horse tactics to paint yourself as the last honorable man alive.


And this is a statement of fact? Where do you come up with such foolish notions? Because I value honor, the inescapable conclusion is that therefore I think that I am the sole possesor of it?


What you seem to have a problem with is the fact that your personal opinions about art, beauty, quality and taste are just that- YOURS, and OPINIONS.
While you, like every other self centered human believe you are right and everybody else is wrong, there is absolutely no objective way of proving that- its merely your ideas against the world's.


Again, you pretend that I think that it is me against the world, I stand alone in my belief's, etc. This may reflect your own perspective, but not mine. I know plenty of people, many on this forum included, who share similar opinions. Just look at the thread critiquing your work, and you will find that the majority of posts support what I stated, which was done in fact in milder terms than some others who posted.


This is the classic Angry Bitter Underdog syndrome among artists.

They share in common the belief that art is a zero sum game, and any time some one else is successful, it takes away from their own potential glory, their own obviously (everything, to an ABU, is "obvious") vastly more beautiful art.

Again, you entirely miss the points that I made, to which you responded. Which are: 1. Integrity, rather than money, should be the bottom line in creating public art. 2. Public art that does not create a positive effect on people is a wasted opportunity. That you are stuck on matters of the artist's ego rather than the critical issues speaks more about you than me.

When I make a public art piece, I have all the same feelings you do- I do genuinely try to serve the public, and make art for the site.
Every statement you made about your high standards and beliefs, is, of course, exactly how I feel too.

Great. Still waiting to see the evidence. It may in fact exist, but the work in question either does not come from the same level of concern or "feelings" that I experience, or something happened between the feelings and the product.

The difference is all in opinion- and, in your opinion, any art that is not to your taste (your personal, highly subjective taste) cannot be any good, and therefore is a scam.

Again, more making up of attitudes and pretending that they belong to me. Would it be possible for you to stop demagoging an issue?

While you may feel that my work makes a "a disconnect between the public and the work", whatever the heck that is supposed to mean, I, of course, feel differently.

What it means, is that rather than seeing art, a passerby sees welded shopping carts.



It is that I am willing to admit that your viewpoint, along with many others that are different from mine, have equal validity, right to exist, and audiences who love them,

Thanks. What a sweetheart!


while you are insistent that you, and you alone, have the right to make judgements on aesthetics and "quality" and "beauty", and that you are always right, and that anyone who differs from you is wrong.

Demagoging again. You are like the guy that says 400,000 is 4 million, and then when called on it says forget the numbers and concentrate on the message.
Lying is actually the less polite term for it.


I feel sorry for you, as you are limiting the beauty, joy, and breadth of experience you will accept as valid by your narrow self imposed viewpoints.

It is nice to know that from your vastly superior and broader perspective, you can still spare the time to feel sorry for me.

Me, I can enjoy lots of art that I myself would never make. And I feel no qualms that anyone who actually knows me will realize that I am a professional, who cares deeply and thinks hard about what I do.

Nobody ever said you have to like it.

Apparently I do have to like it, otherwise I am considered a closed-minded, intolerant, self-centered egomaniac. :confused:

Ries 07-27-2007 01:24 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
I can only go by the hundreds of posts here, in which you unilaterally declare various artists work to be "crap", "junk", and so on.
Your opinions are obvious and accesible to anyone who cares to read them.

They clearly point to a person who defines "art" and rules as inadmissable any art that does not fit his narrow range of taste.

The fact that other people agree with you may be true, but it is equally true that many people disagree with you, and, in the end, both are irrelevant- art is not a democratic popularity contest, but, instead, is open to any and all comers, no matter how popular or unpopular.

When you say- Integrity, rather than money, should be the bottom line in creating public art, and, Public art that does not create a positive effect on people is a wasted opportunity, I could not agree more.

And, in my opinion, I always place integrity, rather than money first. I have turned down jobs, and refused commissions, when I feel my integrity is in danger.
As for a "positive effect", again, this is an entirely subjective thing.
I suppose you could pay for a professional poll of every resident in the community where an artwork is located, but, short of that, every judgement is personal, arbitrary, and anecdotal.

I find that for every public piece I create, the vast majority of the feedback I get from the public who live around the work is positive. I get fan mail, and personal comments when I am on site, some of which is truly flattering and uplifting to me.
I consistently get people telling me how much they love work of mine, when I tell them I did it, many years later.
Certainly, I also get negative responses- but there are individuals who dislike any given artwork. I am sure there are people in Minneapolis that dislike your work- does that mean it does not make a positive effect?
There are also a percentage of the public who feel that all money spent on public art is a waste, whether it be Glenn, or Ries.

I do not choose to create work based on public opinion- to me, that would compromise my integrity for money.

I make work I believe in, and have consistently gotten positive responses, and sales, since 1970 or so. I do not delude myself that everyone does, or should, like my art, and I do not in the slightest consider you a "closed-minded, intolerant, self-centered egomaniac" for not liking my work.

I do consider you close minded, and a classic ABU, based solely on your voluminus judgemental comments here.

I suppose I could go thru a few, and cull comment after comment that proves my point- that you consider your personal opinions about art to be objective statements of fact- but it seems to me that anyone who reads them with an open mind will see that for themselves.

fritchie 07-27-2007 07:40 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
Let me ask people to reread my post 8 above, done after I Googled more on the sculpture and its sculptor, Matthew Antichevich. The articles referenced there say Antichevich INTENDED to portray a beginning, teenage surfer, and that's more or less the way I read the piece.

It's appropriate to criticize Mr. Antichevich's approach, his skill, or any other aspect of the piece, but please give him the respect to check his point of view first.

thaddeus 07-27-2007 08:14 PM

Let's not over-analyze things here
 
The kid's arms look weird. Maybe the artist can come back and bend them around a little until they look right.


:cool:

sculptor 07-27-2007 09:13 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
Dunno if thus helps/matters...whatever
but

an old annette funachello //franky avalon (sp?)movie...ride the wild surf? circa mid 60s
that is exactly the pose taken by the lead character in a "surfing dance" done on the beach

then annette waggled her hips and.........

(what do you want from a 40 year old memory?)

underfoot 07-27-2007 09:36 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fritchie
Let me ask people to reread my post 8 above, done after I Googled more on the sculpture and its sculptor, Matthew Antichevich. The articles referenced there say Antichevich INTENDED to portray a beginning, teenage surfer, and that's more or less the way I read the piece.

It's appropriate to criticize Mr. Antichevich's approach, his skill, or any other aspect of the piece, but please give him the respect to check his point of view first.

oops, ok I commented before knowing the full story and feel sufficiently
chastised. I've been an obsessed surfer for 40 years and I've probably forgotten what it was like to learn.
having said that ,I still have a few problems with the piece, most of which
are due to fact that it is a body cast and as such can never convey
the dynamic of a modelled/sculpted surfer

sculptor 07-27-2007 09:41 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
a body cast?
really?

well screw it then----that ain't sculpture, that's taxidermy

thaddeus 07-28-2007 06:35 AM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sculptor
an old annette funachello //franky avalon (sp?)movie...ride the wild surf? circa mid 60s
that is exactly the pose taken by the lead character in a "surfing dance" done on the beach

Yes! You've hit on it exactly! There was something about it that was familiar. :D

I think the movie was 'How to fill a wild bikini' or some atrocity like that though... :eek:

mountshang 07-28-2007 05:27 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
It is curious that there's no other figurative work this size by this sculptor on the internet.

I don't care whether it's a bodycast - but the figure does seem to have a more to do with a human body than with a sculpture.

Which living American sculptor would have done a better job ?

I think it's better than that other, stiffer surfer statue shown recently.

By comparison -- this one might even be called Hellenistic.

sculptor 07-29-2007 11:39 AM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mountshang
...

I don't care whether it's a bodycast - ...

Which living American sculptor would have done a better job ?

... this one might even be called Hellenistic.

you intended this as a joke???

Limpet 07-29-2007 07:03 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
The politicians that paid for the art said it was a beginner surfer, not the artist. The artist is saying the surfer is doing a floater, which is a fairly technical move not accessable to someone without years of experience.

fritchie 07-29-2007 08:16 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Limpet
The politicians that paid for the art said it was a beginner surfer, not the artist. The artist is saying the surfer is doing a floater, which is a fairly technical move not accessable to someone without years of experience.

Reef - I just sent you a Private Message asking for some more info on this matter. I hope you can give that to me or post it here, if you prefer. I think this sculpture is good, and I'd like to clear up some of the technical issues.

mountshang 07-29-2007 08:50 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sculptor
you intended this as a joke???


no --- it reminds me of some kind of Hellenistic mischievous or naughty cupid.

(Regarding the accurate presentation of surfing -- I could care less -- if you want that, there have to be some good DVD's )

Merlion 07-29-2007 08:53 PM

Re: Artist defends surfing sculpture amid criticism
 
I am trying to look for pictures of this statue from other angles.

So far I've found this SurferMagazine link. It shows a larger picture from unfortunately the same angle. Anyway, the picture shows more of the tall base and a better view of the surfing board. It also has comments from surfers who has seen this statue.


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