Both bronze and Glass owe their birthright to fire. This piece is an experiment of processes. Working in bronze and working in glass with both very similar process but yet extremely different responses is a unique challenge. Sometimes the work is about stretching the limits of yourself and the medium. It is a reflection of the expat life. We take what we know, combine it with what we are familiar with, and then blend it together with the unknown. It seemed a special tribute to combine bronze, which is something so connected to my being with glass, something so connected to the identity of the Czech Republic in a manner that honors them both.
According to Czech legend the Slavic princess Libuše, a woman of great beauty and wisdom who possessed prophetic powers had a vision. She stood on a cliff overlooking the Vltava, looked across the river, and proclaimed: "I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars. This piece represents that moment. That very moment, when one of the most beautiful cities in Europe was given it’s name.
Ode to Mucha
I want to share the illustrative aspects of the piece with the viewer. This piece is firmly rooted in the Angel Series, which has been prominent in my work over many years. However, this piece has begun a divergent path away from the purpose of the angel series and has become the catalyst in what I hope will be a more in-depth study in the style and approach of Alfonse Mucha. The nouveau stylings of his work have been an ever-present admiration in my studies since my time spent as an undergrad.
This is my first and only attempt to this point to react in a meaningful manner to the Art Nouveau movement. It feels appropriate to begin this journey while living and working in the Czech Republic. The fluid lines create a linear dance around the figure using positive and negative space. I hope it is seen as respectful and understood as a pure attempt to respond to the beauty of his works.
Metamorphosis - Third Stage
I was in the garden conversing via phone with a friend. She said, “Every time I see a white butterfly I know it is my mother watching over me” She was honest and spoke openly as she shared these little moments in time. It was at that moment a white butterfly flew by me. I asked her to wait while I photographed it and captured yet another serendipitous moment that life in Prague has afforded me.
This is the first angel with wings since the very first bronze angel I did almost twenty years ago. It has been nearly ten years since I was able to make bronze sculptures. It takes a special place, foundry, equipment, and collaboration to make bronzes. Prague is the first place outside my hometown that I have found that spirit alive and well. It seemed appropriate to show this stage of Metamorphosis in a symbolic manner to honor the rebirth of an idea.
The work continues to go through the Metamorphosis process and has now grown into the white winged butterfly. It is a symbolic gesture to show how our relationships with family and friends will grow, take flight, and even watch over us as we go through life.
Metamorphosis - Taking Flight
This work is a continuation on a theme with many threads. The origin of he first piece was a representation and study of the first winged angel piece I did years ago and still have today. The next piece was in response to the common thread of unique experiences that continuously happen in the expat world. My work on this series has been strangely interrupted but in the most caring of ways. The works have continuously sold as buyers have felt a connection to the pieces before my vision has come to fruition. This is an amazing opportunity to create and recreate an idea that you enjoy dancing with. This is my next reaction in the metamorphosis series as we get the pleasure to see the idea take flight
Metamorphosis - Final Stage
This work is a continuation on a theme with many threads. The origin of he first piece was a representation and study of the first winged angel piece I did years ago and still have today. The next piece was in response to the common thread of unique experiences that continuously happen in the expat world. The next piece in the series was to show that ideas have more than one meaning and as an artist I had the vision of the piece taking flight. This piece, is the final stage of the works as I wanted to see the idea combine the visual representation of the metamorphosis with the gears which have become a symbolic representation of Prague in my work.
Preservation of Time
The most precious gift we can give to anyone is time. Time spent talking, walking, eating, drinking, smiling, crying, and sitting quietly together. These moments are preserved in our hearts, minds and souls. She is holding those moments in recognition of a life well lived.
She is looking at herself and reflecting upon all the things of importance. They can be found inside the mind, the body, and soul. As we move around the world each place brings new challenges. She understands the importance of remaining steadfast and grounded in confidence and knowing.
The Journey of Vltava
This piece is special in that is was made as a donation for the International School of Prague’s Night at the Palace. It is an event that is used to help fund and create educational experiences for students, which is something close to my heart.
The piece represents Prague and the journey in which the Vltava River takes as it cuts through the city. The rivers route has been sculpted directly into the figure itself. I find it interesting that Old Town lies over the lungs of the figure. It is truly the place that breathes life into the city. The base of the sculpture is a single drop of water. It then flows up around the figure in a manner that protects, defies, and challenges her. This is a direct reflection of the relationship that Prague has with the Vltava.
It is a pleasure to be asked to create original works. It is an honor to have my work share in the life of others.
During a conversation about moving abroad, someone asked us why we would leave our hometown? Why would we want to live someplace else? They said that we lived in the perfect place to raise a family. My wife answered her question by saying that there are many places in the world that are a perfect place to raise a family. The person questioning us had a very perplexed look. We smiled knowingly, careful to not be perceived as arrogant.
This work represents the new beginning, the setting up of a home, the new life abroad. The picket fence of the yard that can appear anytime you embark on a new place. As it turns out, the perfect place to raise a family is anywhere you decide to call home.
Angels of Horology
These works are based on the Astronomical clock in Old Town Prague. The figures stand in the same form as a Copernican sundial. They represent the three types of time shown on the clock. There are the Roman Numerals that represent the time of day and night, the Zodiacal Symbols show the months and seasons, and the third set of numbers represent Ancient Czech time. The curved lines creating negative space on the base of the sculpture show the Planetary time. The Gears represent the Stars, Moon, and Sun, as they are all measured on the clock in old town. The Astronomical clock as an amazing piece of artistry and mechanics in and of itself, and is truly inspiring.
We grow, we take, we leave, we love, we learn, we hope, we dream, we believe, we find truth, we see beauty, we live, we die, we embrace, we challenge, we overcome, we strive, we embrace, we celebrate, we embark, we embrace, we reflect, we endure.
Degradation of Time
As an ex-pat, time in a place is often measured by numbers of years and length of stay. We use this measuring practice in daily conversations. It is a constant reminder of days spent, days leaving, or days being left behind.
When we face, answer and embrace the questions of time, we can appear to be worn, we can appear to be degraded, but we move forward. We live life and maintain the core of who we are. We hold dear the central idea to live the life we are meant to live and enjoy where this journey will take us.
This piece is truly about my angle sculptures finding a new place. This is the first angel with wings since the very first bronze angel I did almost twenty years ago. It has been nearly ten years since I was able to make bronze sculptures. It takes a special place, foundry, equipment, and collaboration to make bronzes. Prague is the first place outside my hometown that I have found that spirit alive and well. It seemed appropriate for her to show this stage of Metamorphosis in a symbolic manner to honor the rebirth of an idea.
Angels in the Woods
When we land on our feet in a new place we often find ourselves walking. Some people walk for exercise, some to clear their minds, to breath different air, to celebrate nature. I went on a walk to search for a piece of wood on this specific day. I had an idea of making art but needed Mother Nature to help me solve the work.
This piece laterally came out of the little woods in front of my house in Prague. It represents a collaboration with nature There is something special about using this dead piece of wood and giving it a new beginning through using ancient bronze processes. . It is an intertwining of ideas and processes that grew into a sculpture reflecting my life
There is a greater good than all of us. I don’t know what it is called, but I feel it as I travel around the world. It appears in the landscape, in the architecture, in meals, in the smiles of strangers, and the laughter of children. I don’t feel a need to profess this idea. I think for me just acknowledging that there is something bigger than us is a very important act.
We all journey through time and space and place in different ways. When you live the life of an expat you are often away from loved ones both family and friends. You are often not around when it becomes time for them to leave this world. It is a hard fact that we may not be able to make it to the side of those we love during the last moments of their journey. The reality is we all mark those passing’s in different ways. This piece is for those of us who have lost angels while on our journey as they passed to another life.
This is a very unique piece in that it has been made in each of my studios. First she came to life in wax at the original Airy Hill Studio in the states. I then cut her apart into seven pieces and shipped her to Moscow, where I reassembled her in the hopes of finding a bronze foundry to cast her to bronze. When that did not come to fruition, I cut her apart again and shipped her to Prague. Once here I reassembled her and found a foundry to complete the process. She is the first bronze I had made her in the Czech Republic, but she has also taken the longest journey. I find it interesting that her title represents her visual posture, but as I am writing this, I have realized that it captures the truest form of anticipation.
The unselfish act of giving back to each other is honorable. The human act of giving back to the earth is essential to our existence. We learn from those around us who act in a humanistic manner and demonstrate their love for our earth. Their lessons should grow in all of us and if we are lucky enough we will remember those lessons and bare the fruit of their work in our children.
This was the last sculpture that I created in bronze in the United States. As so often happens in many of my works I think they mean one thing at the time of creation. As time goes by they take on a different persona. I didn’t realize at the time that it would be the last bronze I made at Airy Hill. I didn’t realize at the time that she was presenting a journey to be taken. If you look closely at the texture you will see that it is made of several hundred small pieces most of them containing my figure print. A true piece of myself left in the art. It is a signature of sorts? I am not sure, but I do know when someone hands you the gift of the journey, you should enjoy what they are presenting.
This work is based on my view of a women’s ability to give freely to children. There are not many words that can explain the feelings I am trying to capture in this piece, so I will keep it short and to the point.
As a man, I stand in awe of how my wife like most women, can give so much love, care, knowledge, and understanding in what seems to be an endless supply. It comes from within in such a manner that it is effortless, natural, and overflowing.
There are moments when we reflect, observe, and plan. She is embracing time as it flows through her mind and creates thoughts, experiences, and memories.
There are moments when we think about what we will be, where we will go, and what adventure lies ahead. The time in between the daydreams and the planning are when the best things happen. I don’t want to forget how to embrace those moments and continue dreaming.