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Old 02-10-2008, 04:46 PM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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First Public Monument in Florence by an American

It is indeed "a huge, if daunting, honor".

Jackson native sculpts large-scale monument in Florence, Italy

Feb 10, 2008. Life can take us down some unexpected paths, but nobody could have forseen that a Children's Theater production at the Middle School at Parkside would lead Jason Arkles to where he is now on the verge of becoming the first American sculptor to have a large-scale, permanent, public monument on display in Florence, Italy.


Jason Arkles works on the marble version of the sculpture. ...

Arkles, a 1990 graduate of Jackson High School, still visits family in the area and maintains a studio in North Carolina, but increasingly, thinks of Florence as home. ...

He teaches sculpture at a studio run by another American, Charles Cecil. On weekends he heads for Pietrasanta, a small town on the coast of Tuscany that is home to the marble quarries Michaelangelo used for his masterpieces.

For the last year he has been working on two commissioned pieces for St. Marks English Church in Florence. He finished the first, a marble altar, last weekend. The second, a statue of St. Mark, will be finished in April. When it's done, it will be placed in the central niche of the church's front facade, where anyone on the Via Maggio will be able to see it.

Arkles called it "a huge, if daunting, honor."

The Church of England built the church in 1881 out of an existing palace once owned by Machiavelli to serve English expatriates and travelers. The niche was constructed with the intention of installing a statue, Arkles said. Only after it was finished did the church learn that, according to Tuscan law at the time, Protestant churches were forbidden from any proseletizing including public statues.

"It's the most prominent empty niche in Florence," Arkles said. "It's something I've been salivating over since I first noticed it in 1998."

When a friend told Arkles that the church was starting a multimillion-dollar renovation, he said, "I picked up my courage and portfolio (and) introduced myself to the chaplain, " who hired him on the spot. ....
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:56 PM
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Re: First Public Monument in Florence by an American

id love to see Cellini s comments on this, he called one fellow artists work a sack of potatos if i recall [that sculpture still exists, apt comment] -did they have pizza in italy then?
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:01 AM
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Re: First Public Monument in Florence by an American

If I were him, I would avoid carving a marble statue with a style similar to the Renaissance masters like Cellini and Michelangelo.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:16 AM
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Re: First Public Monument in Florence by an American

Merlion, why would you avoid carving it in the Rennaisance style? It's going on the outside of a church in Florence, what better style would there be. If it stuck out like a sore thumb, people would call for its removal, the artist would be scandalized and embarassed. I think it's quite a challenge to have his work fit the style of the great masters of the Rennaissance.

When I go back to Italy some day, I'll have to make sure to stop by and see this first hand.

Alfred
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:35 PM
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Re: First Public Monument in Florence by an American

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfred View Post
Merlion, why would you avoid carving it in the Rennaisance style? It's going on the outside of a church in Florence, what better style would there be. If it stuck out like a sore thumb, people would call for its removal, the artist would be scandalized and embarassed. I think it's quite a challenge to have his work fit the style of the great masters of the Rennaissance.

When I go back to Italy some day, I'll have to make sure to stop by and see this first hand.

Alfred
You've hit the marble with the chisel on that one. Unfortunately, we live in an age of "Me" generation who want to stick out like a sore thumb to be noticed, rather than having the good taste and lack of ego to create a work that harmonizes with the environment. This artist saw the opportunity as an honor, and he understood the responsibility placed upon him by that honor.
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:18 PM
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Re: First Public Monument in Florence by an American

Actually that figure reminds me of one of the two tomb-figures Michelangelo did in the Medici Chapel; Lorenzo, I think. I'd like to see the figure from various angles.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:29 PM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Re: First Public Monument in Florence by an American

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... I'd like to see the figure from various angles.
Of course we all would like to see more. It means you'd have to wait until after April (note the mention of this date in the article excerpted).
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