Artist Statement

For Bronze Castings

           My work can be interpreted as a metaphor for the body and its movements. I have been particularly inspired by how the body can be reductively broken down into Structure (bones), Form (muscles), and Surface (skin). As one of my biggest influences, Henry Moore’s work sought to reduce the body and its parts to bring Form and Structure together into symbiotic sculptures; in life however, these two are fundamental opposites. This relationship makes these two movements in the body work interdependently allowing the body to stand up and move, with the Surface binding these two together. My body work on the other hand draws its main inspiration from the structural, internal, natural aspects of the corporeal form. Bones have been the focus of my work, there is something beautiful about them. I feel bones for the most part are thought of as grotesque and purely structural, but I find that they are quite beautiful in their lines and movements. It is my intention to bring those qualities out and create abstract sculptures which evoke the feeling of a bone. In the mammalian body, its structure has no movement without its form. My work intends to bring movement to Structure, to re-create motion and a fluidity that already exists within bones themselves. Just as the corporeal form exists in three-dimensions, my sculptures are designed around the idea that sculpture has no “front”, that every side is important, including the “bottom”. I aspire for my pieces to take this a step further, by having nearly every side be the front, top, back and bottom.

            My first bronze abstractions were based on actual bones. As I continued to develop my body of work, I started to move away from basing my pieces on this premise, and into sculptures that evoke the feeling of a bone. In my most recent works, my pieces seek to tie the idea of a circuitous object together with the idea of connection; where their movement evokes an embrace where some of the pieces seem to almost touch. This concept of interaction within my body of work is heavily influenced from my studies and travels to the United Kingdom where I studied Henry Moore’s work up close to see how he created his magnificent sculptures. Moore’s work greatly influenced my work throughout my undergraduate career.

            The benefit of working bronze allows me to work on my sculptures three times, every step in the process contributing to the evolution of the sculpture. While some tend to view bronze as a traditional relic of artistic expression, I use it as a contemporary medium through which to explore the ideas of conceptual modernism; the combination of this once ancient medium with the modern concepts of how sculpture explores space and form. It has enabled the parallel investigation of the body and its’ forms, and sculpture and its’ processes.

            The processes of sculpture are a lot like the processes of the body, each step makes the next stronger and more functional. Within the body, the structure and bones are made stronger by the form and muscles, which are protected by the surface of the skin. This similarity in form and process are what make the creation of the work as important to me as the final product. As I work each piece, in clay, wax, and bronze, the sculpture goes through an evolution. It often feels as though I make three pieces, with each phase having added something new to the sculpture. The result is a stronger,  more cohesive work of art.

© 2020 Zachary Tate Art