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by techgnotic
Fri Jul 8, 2011, 7:59 PM

Marble, Granite, Bronze, Silver, Gold!

Early statuary depicted one’s god’s, and since the medium is
as much the message as the visual message itself – the medium had
to proclaim: This god is as forever lasting as this stone that His
rendering is hewn out of! But all that is solid eventually melts
away into the air, even the most powerful ancient gods and kings –

By the time of the Renaissance, sculpture had managed to evolve away from the more ancient obsession of
depicting the Gods Themselves (indeed, with the encouragement in the belief that statues of gods were literally
material manifestations of gods or at least housings for gods’ essences) and became more focused on tableaus depicting
epiphanous moments from religious narratives... Michelangelo’s Pieta

...or even human non-god heroes from the great stories like Michelangelo’s David.

For the next few centuries, sculpture continued to seek an eternal permanence for human (mainly military or political)
heroes as much as for religious figures, to which anyone having visited the Lincoln Memorial or Mount Rushmore can attest.  
But the impulse remained to somehow keep beings, whether gods or humans, somehow “alive” by capturing them in immortal materials
that would not crumble away as readily as mortal flesh.

Modernism finally released sculptures from the strait-jacket of being 3D portraiture of living beings or tableaux. Modern sculptures allowed
abstract expressions to take their place as solid manifestations, provocative and mind-engaging as Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings
on canvas.  The desire to capture the essences of gods or great humans’ beings had finally evolved into the artist’s
desire to capture the essence of thought. The artist perceptions, to ours – the desire to capture desire itself.  
It seems that modern sculpture is not about inducing a feeling of awe in the beholder, but being in the presence of a mighty god, warrior or king.
Observing is like a dream, memory or desire – suddenly becoming solid out of the thin air.

Questions for the Reader

  1. Paintings can burn.  Digital can be deleted.  Is permanence what draws the artist to the medium of clay, stone, steel, wood, bronze, etc.?
  2. Does a sculpture, which must be allowed to occupy a more substantial space than a flat plane on a wall or PC screen, make a statement or create a provocation that can less easily be dismissed?
  3. What is it that personally draws you to sculptures and the fuels your desire to create through sculpting?  What was you first experience with encountering and being emotionally, psychically affected by a sculpture?

I plan on revisiting this topic early next year by interviewing the leaders in the Sculpture community here on deviantART.   If you have any suggestions as to the artists you would like to me to interview please let me know in the comment section.  I will be featuring a wide variety of the sculpture community in that feature.






This article may be redistributed on the web by link and with attribution to deviantART but not re-printed without deviantART's permission.

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roballen2 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Professional Artist
Gods come and Gods go. People throughout the ages have killed, died, and given up their every freedom for these myths/beliefs.
Art, of any medium is in the "Mind" of the beholder.
When The big Cockroach riding the back of a rat, like it is a horse, sees the eroded Mt. Rushmore, it'll communicate in its way.
"These were the feather less, fur less gross combination of all animals combined, they use to rule this world. They are the one that made us strong. They poisoned us, tried to stamp us out in every conceiveable way. Where are they now? After having nearly destroyed the world it's self? They are No More!"
Fabiuss Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
thank you for featuring my photo!
why didn't you informed me?
WishMasterFreelancer Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011
1) Permanence is not the main thing about real sculptures I think.
3) I haven't done real life sculpting yet. But what I like in real sculptures is their 3-dimensionality. Their just as 3D as me. and people around me.
My first experience was gazing the sculpture made of marble with such small clothes details as lace, creases and wrinkles (marble... not clay... can you imagine that??)
AngelEji Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
more than permanence, I would say endurance. each material has a certain life span that can not be ingnored no matter it's resistance or quality. being able to sculpt or "shape shift" a medium to the artist's desire is unique in giving satisfaction.

answer: why not? in today's way of living, just being able to decorate a room electrical appliances is studied and debated. why can't a sculpture have it's own space? like each objects we own, a sculpture has it's own definition.

first and foremost, the dept of details presented in the sculpture as a whole. and when looking at details, the lines carved.
the sculpture having it's own definition, as stated above, I try to look into how the "definition" is presented, shaped.
my first encounter of a sculpture would be the ones in temple, the gods/goddesses' ones. in the hindou culture, you can find amazing work of art preserving their own originality and vitality though techniques and realization are thousand years old.
wolvesrule1243 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Though paintings and such can be destroyed very easily, I believe that working with clay, marble, and other natural substances makes the artist feel a bit more of a permnament, and widespread boundry. True, a sculpture can be broken, however, the fact that it is stronger gives the artist a comfort to know that it won't be broken or lost so easily. It too allows an artist to express his or her feelings into it and thereby influence others to feel the same.

It can be both. Everyone has his or her own personal opinion, plus certain sculptures may be found innapropriate by viewers. It just depends on the atmosphere and the tpe of people in it.
lalase Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Most artist are drawn to the medium of clay, stone, steel, wood, bronze, etc. becuse they like the beauty of it. The permanence of it is just one of many reasons to love the form of art.

a sculpture is another form of art and like all the others it takes skill and creativety.

my desire to create through sculpting, its fun, its a challenge, It Is ART.
IcyDrake Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Depression induced ideas aside, the idea that sculpture is any more permanent than canvas or pixels is a fraud. Chemically, it is impossible to keep even metal sculpture looking the same for more than a decade without incurring oxidation or erosion of some kind - there just isn't a material that will do that.

Working in three dimensions - in my case fine woodworking - is for me an opportunity to work without the restriction of forced perspective. Granted, in demonstrating my Art online, I must ironically force a perspective upon my audience via photo, but in physical demonstration, I can let my audience handle my work, and they can choose a perspective that suits their own experiences. It seems to me that the act of creating a physical object is undeniably a work of nonfiction - even if the carving is of a fictional occurrence - the piece itself is real, tangible and a part of the world that we all must find a way to live with. Therefore, if what I make causes reality to be more palatable, then my work as an artist is, by definition, resolved.
Sculptor94 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Permanence is a myth. Let's start there. There's such a wide array of things to be done with sculpture, in lots of mediums to explore, and an endless list of things to create, destroy, and recreate. Permanence, no. I would disagree, but the versatility the artist can play with, yes.

It is entirely up to the viewer whether a sculpture is more meaningful or has a louder statement then a painting only because it takes up more space. Its all within the context of the piece, and the sustenance it offers. In other words, I'm just as awed by the The Victory of Samothrace as I am by the Mona Lisa.

What draws me to sculpt is I want to create and sculpting is a readily available way of doing so. It's an unbelievable amount of fun and, unlike drawing or painting, its more of a community effort. At some point I need another's opinion or someone to help me lift it. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes an art department to create a sculpture.

I :heart: sculpture, and its neat to see a lot of other people share my eloquently worded feelings.
Kenziiquinn Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Student General Artist
I've always thought in ways of form- touching and feeling the textures of things, and thinking in 3D, if you can imagine. But I've been lately curious as to why almost all artists have bound themselves to flat surfaces to conjure ideas, when really ideas are experiences and forms in nature.
And certainly, an artist tying oneself to human figures of clay and stone is refusing to absorb artistic surrounding and expand upon communicating concepts and emotions. Human forms can only go so far.

I believe the most successful artists take reality, and beat it to a pulp into a whole new way of seeing the world, which is way sculpture is stepping towards understanding and seeing reality and illusion eye to eye.
... Although I unfortunately find no interest in answering the above questions :D
supersonic3225 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Well that's Michelangelo. He's famous and nobody here can be as good as him.
IcyDrake Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Bah, nobody wants to be as good as Him. To attempt to rival any master is to dedicate a lifetime of study into their art, and the topic of art in general, which few, even art history majors do. In this world of job-hopping, who has that kind of time?
Can another Master appear, even here? Sure, if they get a good publicist and a set of incredible display contracts.
supersonic3225 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
So who is the art master here. Because if you look at my work, I don't have time to draw because I need Prisma pencils.
L9pendragon Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Paintings can burn. Digital can be deleted. Is permanence what draws the artist to the medium of clay, stone, steel, wood, bronze, etc.?

- in many really old cultures they may not have had things like paints, but carved objects that pertained to them like knife handles or combs.
- on the flip side to that, go look up Chauvet Cave. it is the oldest dated cave drawings in the world. they have been there since roughly 30,000 years ago.

Both of these kinds of art have lasted an extremely long time. i think both are great forms of art, but i like to walk among the art of buildings and statues. to relive in those places. paintings are only a snap shot of life there.
fantasio Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
This is an interesting topic that struck a nerve a while ago, thanks for putting it back onto the slate.
Well, I work in sculpture as a medium that IS just the process, my workflow allows for a sculpture to be destructed, after the final digital work is done. With that I life and foster the true relationship between creation and destruction. My preferred medium is clay and findings, but I also have plaster sculptures that become digital derivatives. You might ask why I do that, the reason is simple: With a camera, I have the chance to make a "directors cut" and show the sculpture like it is meant to be seen. Similar to a relationship like photographer and model, with the only difference that I can destroy the model, after it has served its purpose. Reality is that we canīt keep things from decay and all efforts are a true waste of time in my opinion. Beauty and inspiration are ephemeral and like a butterfly, if you want to catch it, itīll fly away.
Director1265 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011
The beautiful thing about sculpture, especially stone or clay sculpture, is that it can endure the passing of time and survive for many, many centuries to be enjoyed by decendents far into the future. A painting today would probably last about 500 years if taken care of. A pen and paper drawing could last almost as long. Any digital works will last as long as there are computers, but are highly suseptable to corruption over time (besides, it's been only about 15 or 20 years since the Internet first came to be, and I have never, ever been able to find any website or image posted before about 2000, so we have no clue about how long those can last, but as far as I can tell, it won't be very long).

Metalworks, however, can last as much as 4000 to 5000 years, and stonework, glass, and earthenware can easily last well over 10,000 years. The only things that really have it beat are plastics and styrofoam (plastic can supposedly last up to somewhere between 100,000 and 1 Million years, and Styrofoam simply does not ever decay).

So, it is very likely that as the future progresses, there will be many, many things about our modern society that will disappear forever within less than 300 years, and almost all of the rest will vanish after about 5000 years. But our plastic, styrofoam, glass and all stone and earthenware will outlast it all. Post-Human Archaeologists will have a surprisingly-good idea about our life in the modern age, but they would probably come across something from Ancient Egypt or the Roman Empire and believe it was from us! They would admire our skill in the beautiful sculptures we left behind, they would have some understanding about our everyday lives and our cultures, and they would know that we had the ability to make artificial materials. However, they would never, ever know that we had computer technology, and the very idea that we of the 21st century knew metalergy would be almost fantasy.

I honestly can't think of any artwork that exists in near-complete form longer than clay or stone sculptures.
aos-ceirde Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I wasn't expecting this article to touch me in any way, but it really did in a deep space inside me. I haven't touched sculpture in over 3 years... now the desire is back inside of me. Thank you!
techgnotic Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011
Absolutely wonderful to hear, looking forward to enjoying your new works.
aos-ceirde Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks, I'm working on an urn right now!
CustomCookie Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
1. Through history clay, stone, steel, wood, bronze, etc, were THE media through which humans influenced their environment. Art was only one way in which this happened. Wood gave tools and weapons, clay gave pottery, stone was used in myriad of ways etc.
and with time it became traditional to use those media. It is only because we today rarely make anything from them in our everyday lives that they have become so special that we have to wonder why they are used.

2) Sculpture allows examination from many angles and it can also be bigger than a screen or small and held in hand. It can be examined by touch. Whether it is less easy to dismiss? I don't think that depends on the medium as much as on the message.

3) power over matter :D
Starlit-Sorceress Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Paintings can burn. Digital can be deleted. Sculptures can be smashed. Nothing is permanent.
OceanStory1 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011
Thank you ! Thats what I said
moonlight-fox Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Paintings can burn. Digital can be deleted. Is permanence what draws the artist to the medium of clay, stone, steel, wood, bronze, etc.?

-I think it is part of the reason but a physical manifestation of art in such a way that you can touch it and feel its "3d-ness" makes up most of it, some message comes across more easily when it is physically present.

Does a sculpture, which must be allowed to occupy a more substantial space than a flat plane on a wall or PC screen, make a statement or create a provocation that can less easily be dismissed?

-Yes, the viewers have a more physical interaction with the art.

What is it that personally draws you to sculptures and the fuels your desire to create through sculpting? What was you first experience with encountering and being emotionally, psychically affected by a sculpture?

-I have little experience with sculpting but I think it is because I can create not by simply drawing it on paper but making it out of stone have this magic.
gbntbedtyr Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I have enjoyed multi mediums for most, if not all of my life. I sculpt because it is closer to life. I Love the female form and Love creating a piece of art as life like as possible. (see Sculpting Sunshine in Frias eZine, it's a photo essay {although not truly sculpture} that truly portrays my dreams, my thoughts, in sculpting) However I too like the challenge of a new Medium. My recent, as in ten years or so, Automotive Sculpture, is an example of the challenge, as well as the permanence you speak of. I saw a 3D Flame Job, and marveled at it's beauty, but I did not have the tools to do one, at least not in the traditional manner. I picked up a Hammer and began beating out Flame Jobs. It was a Medium, It was a Challenge, I Conquered.
krymsinthe Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
"Paintings can burn. Digital can be deleted. Is permanence what draws the artist to the medium of clay, stone, steel, wood, bronze, etc.?"

- i like how you ask that question, its sooo eye-catching that ive clicked on it >.<
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
To me, the Greeks and such wasted their talents on their fake gods. They should have used their God-given gifts to worship God, the ONLY ONE TRUE GOD, whose Son came to die for each and every one of us filthy sinners. The Greek gods were fake, but my God lives on today!
jennystokes Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Professional General Artist
You are putting yourself in a VERY vulnerable position here:
1. A HUGE amount of the art in this World of ours is Religious/Christian/Greek/Roman gods/Scandinavian Gods/Indian gods...........
2. Without these wonderful sculptures the earth would be a VERY boring place.
3. I have travelled in a lot of countries. Have you............?
4. EVEN if you don't believe in other Gods, as an artist, SURELY you can admire the 'workmanship?'
5. Some of these sculptures have been around for centuries, they have not been desecrated or removed, because people go to see them because they are art!
It is obvious to me that you are being extremely 'blind'.................imagine a World without these "God" Sculptures?
Have you EVER been to a Jain Temple in India? Ever been to Italy and marvelled at all the sculptures in Roman Catholic churches and Cathedrals? EVER been to Sri Lanka and admired the massive Buddhist and Hindhu sculptures there?
I rest my case.
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
But they are all FAKE! My God is alive and well, and loves every single person on the face of this planet. Just because you think something is artful doesn't make it right. These sculptures are idols before God, I believe, and that IS a sin. I rest MY case.
roballen2 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Professional Artist
Christian-can you honestly say that more people have been helped in the name of Christ, or more people have been killed, tortured (In the most atrocious ways)wars fought, people slaughtered. The inquisition, the reclamation, etc.
In 1059 Pope Gregory sent forth the crusaders to push back the Islamic Hordes. This battle goes on to this day.
You opened that bible and closed your mind. You are sheeple. "Christ"= The Greatest Story Ever Sold".
I suggest you look into the who, what, when, where, how, and why...Christianity got started. You have an imposed worldview, and a warped self image. Humans being a species that feels a need to band together, did this to you= your society. "Pray for someone to grow their arm back?"
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You sir have a twisted view of what I believe. Christianity is not about the mistakes man makes. Man is not perfect and will never be perfect. Christ died for people like you, people who want nothing to do with His grace and mercy, things that change a person. Many people have claimed to be followers of Christ, but they aren't. I think YOU need to sit down and read the Bible. Maybe then you would get the big picture of what God Himself says is truth.

P.S. I will not stand down from your intimidation tactics, on my art or my Jesus. To you, He may be a fairy tale, but to me, He is SSOOOOOO much more than you can even imagine. I only hope that you can see He loves you and everyone else on this planet. Thank you for challenging me to make a stand for Christ :) it actually shows that I'm making the stand I need to for Christ, but it also shows I need to continue to grow to rebuke people like you who curse His holy name. Good day sir.
roballen2 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional Artist
Don't hang no FAKE murder raps on me, NO one died for me.Holy Mitochondria, you are a brainwashed moron.
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
no comment...i dont need to hear you call me a moron for my beliefs. Yeah, because THAT sounds SOOOO loving...calling me a hypocrite
L9pendragon Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
if you look past the fake gods and look at the artwork itself doesn't it look amazing?
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
nah cuz most of them are half naked men and women anyway...shows no dignity whatsoever...
L9pendragon Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
then what about adam and eve?....
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
oh please...they didn't know they were naked, and then it was not a sin, that is until lust and such began
jennystokes Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Professional General Artist
Sorry! But this attitude will get you nowhere in life!
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
fine with me...I have another life to look forward to on the other side, so...I'm good.
xNetushax Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great counter points, Jenny. I agree with you unanimously! I happen to have Christian friends like this fellow here. On point no.4, 17chrisjenkins should learn to respect the path of religion people choose to follow. I was born into a Hindu family but I am a Freethinker. Even if I am not a believer of any religion, I think I would appreciate each religion for diversified ways in teaching morals. So, he IS putting himself in a vulnerable position by throwing his weight around. Would he like it if I said Jesus was "fake"? I don't think so.
jennystokes Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
EXACTLY..........No wonder that we have wars, with an attitude like this.
It brings to mind the utter desecration of those brilliant statues by the Taliban in Afghanistan..............1000's of years old Buddha's.
Thanx for your comment.
RainaStar1015 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
First of Im sure "God" wouldnt want you to be such a dick about it. There are MANY people who follow the Gods and Goddesses of Old, and for some very good reasons. "God" wouldnt want you be so offensive, and Im sure you wouldnt like it if anyone said your god is a fail of a figment of the imagination, would you?
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
2 things:

1. Do not use profanity when talking about my God.
2. God is not put in quotation marks. His name deserves to be shown respect, as He is the only true God and therefore deserves that respect of being called as such. Sinply because you reject His Son Jesus does not give you the right to run me into the ground for taking a stand for my Best Friend.
Also, if you cannot talk properly, do not talk at all, please.
RainaStar1015 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
To YOU hes the true god, but that doesnt give you the right to defame and trash all other gods that various people from various walks of life worship. That was my point.
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
whatever...I don't have to argue with you...
xNetushax Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Dood, how OLD are you? Seriously, you are missing the point of this argument. What WE are trying to say is that in God's name (if you really think you are the most holy human on the face of Earth), wouldn't it be a SIN to NOT RESPECT others for those of different faiths in life? Think about it, darling, as long as they don't do bad things and not be harmful to others, their definition of the Higher Power should be a stand in their own league, where no one for any reason, should question. In your case, how is it you have respect for Jesus when you don't follow the basic fundamental of R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

jennystokes is right! Your attitude won't take you anywhere further in life. In the real world, someone would have had already beaten you into a pulp.

We just hope you realize you can't go around and tell people what's right or wrong. Some things are just right in their own way for some individuals.
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
If it's not by the Bible's standards, it's wrong. And for the record, I don't claim to be perfect. I'm nothing but a sinner saved by God's grace. I'm not a Christian because I'm a good person...I make mistakes too. It's only through Jesus that we find eternal love and healing...something a statue of a god can't give us. In Jesus, I have hope, grace, mercy, love and peace that surpasses any other. Maybe if you knew Jesus like I am so blessed to do, you would understand why I try and make such a strong statement for my Lord and Savior. I'm not trying to beat anyone down...people simply need to know that God loves them and wants them, even if I get overzealous and go past my boundaries.
xNetushax Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, since you find peace and love in your God then good for you. But deal with it, everybody has their own God and clearly, God is a vague subject. If you believe Jesus is the only God, fine by me. But keep it to yourself. Don't force it onto others who don't feel the same way. I come from a family of pagan worshipers. Even if I don't agree with the ways of religion. I must say it's a sensitive subject that can't be concluded to favor any party. Because the power of Belief is the strongest point of the human mind, hence the debate about religion can't be closed.

If you don't intend to hurt anyone. Then, just keep your rude, disrespectful, selfish opinions within people just like you. If you really do realize the severity of your mistakes, you should apologize for your words. If you want people to know God loves them, don't tell them the God they love is FAKE.

I will not waste my precious time on you anymore. But I had an enjoyable time sharing this with my other friends. :D
17chrisjenkins Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've enjoyed it too. I shared the Truth, and even if I'm not perfect, God is. I don't apologize for bringing the Bible into this.
syaoranredfire Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it needs fully concentration of mind and work flow! it feels like giving life to still thing, no matter is digital or on something like rock or whatever! just start and don't stop until it dosen't take any form!! it's really cool!! hard but gives ultimate result!!
Debra-Marie Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I think sculptures are the most fun type of art to make :)
hawaiifunsun Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011
idk about this. the romans melted down the bronze statues of the greeks for their war shields. that puts a needle into this argument.
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November 18, 2011


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