Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mother

In this entry, I want to gush a little bit over a specific piece of work by colleague Joshua Henderson. The work is done in Carrara marble, titled "Mother" and I don't think it has that super clean, cleanliness is next to godliness kind of finish that you see in the really "important" and famous marble pieces by the masters, but I also think that's one of the things that makes it so hypnotizing. I think it's one of the things that makes it so that when I'm looking at it, I can't take my eyes off.

So, this entry will be longwinded and nonsensical, because I just think of a lot of things when I look at the sculpture.
"Mother" is covered in a really heavy looking comforter/sheet that is made out of fabric that I'm not familiar with at all. It's thick. It reminds me of when I've somehow managed to get myself tangled in my bedsheets at night and I try to pry free in the morning.
The sheets are leather, suede and velvet, all in one material, there's yards and yards of it, she's stepping on it and if a person had that much fabric around their feet in real life, they would probably stumble on it and fall.
She's incredibly sinuous and slick, she's flowing, feminine, bodacious and rhythmic, but somehow she's also incredibly still and peaceful. Her impassive, resting face shows through a crack in the fabric and makes me wish that I was that placid and unburdened. There is a contrast between the leather/velvet material that covers her and the tilted head with closed eyes. The fabric drapes over her and suggests the curves of her female body, it is a rigid and unforgiving shell that weighs her down, but she seems to shyly and determinedly try to take a step forward, with her hands held together in front of her. The tiny opening in the fabric and her imperturbable facial expression is like a natural process, a creature going through a transformation, transmutation or metamorphosis and she begins to come out the other end: a snake shedding its skin or a caterpillar coming out a butterfly, but this rock does it without a single drop of effort. The shell subsides all on its own, making way for the new figure.

To me, it seems as though the piece is a rock formation, more than stone that was lovingly and thoughtfully sculpted into shape.
Looking at it and remembering that it is a solid piece of rock is kind of difficult and confusing, because she looks so soft and diaphanous.
There is also something about transformation in the piece, with how the texture of her changes from the back to the front, she's rougher in the back and progressively gets smoother as you go to her front.

Joshua is a colleague at the New York Academy of Art, a Sculpture Major taking the anatomy track.
Here you have some fun pictures that I took of her.

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