The Warrior's Battle

I took my newly finished Puzzle Sculpture, The Warrior to the gallery yesterday. It may or not be in the show, depending on how it goes for them this week getting things hung and placed. What I find interesting and challenging for me is the fact that basically there are three people there that I have to please on some level. The two owners are married and then they have an assistant. On any given day one person will like, and even okay a piece but when someone else sees it they decline or need to be persuaded. I guess there is no right or wrong way to go about this process when each person comes from a totally different background in art. One person is a sculptor who works in gigantic slabs of granite. Another has 30 or 40 years painting on rice paper as a background. The other is twenty or more years younger than they with NY Gallery experience and art degrees. I think this is all probably a good thing in the end, sure it would be easier if it were just one person saying yeah or nay, but because I have to go through three different personalities I think ultimately it brings out the strengths and weaknesses of me and my work.

Had just the sculptor/owner seen this on his own, this would NOT be 'in'. The other two people love it. This is where I am learning that ultimately I need to bring in work that I stand behind and believe in and relay that to them. I did that yesterday and it felt good. He didn't like the base, he thought it an after thought that wasn't cohesive to the head. I didn't even let him finish before I let him know that to the contrary I had already paid a welder to make a base for this piece and after finishing it realized it just didn't look so perfect with the end result. What I liked about this particular base was the fact is was, as Daphne pointed out too, much more fitting to the scale of the piece. Also, for me, it was more warrior like, had a more decorated look to it that gave the head some 'proud'. The little cuts and edges in the gear also seemed to match the bits and pieces of puzzle pieces; the other owner/artist agreed vociferously.

A discussion took place about how table sculpture doesn't sell and why. I can honestly say it doesn't matter to me, and as the owner pointed out, sometimes you have to make something regardless. These puzzle heads are something I have to make. They are a further exploration of my puzzle masks. It is exciting for me to make a three dimensional piece. Tod and I had an interesting talk about how this piece isn't like a 'normal' steel table sculpture, I've never given table sculpture much thought before. I think back on my wealthy massage clients in AZ and they all had grand homes with pompous pieces of art placed here and there. I never liked much of it, especially the bronze table sculptures of horses and busts. I can't imagine that there isn't somebody out there with a contemporary home that this piece wouldn't kick some art ass in. In the meantime, I will enjoy having it in my care for awhile. God knows I don't like keeping much around. I've learned so much from making this piece, from devising an armature, forming the puzzle pieces in a different way and anchoring the piece to the base. The second puzzle sculpture is at the stage where I need to think about the top layers and what I want it to ultimately look like. Wonder where my puzzle heads are going to end up, I should make them into a limited edition of 100 just like my clocks, whenever someone tells me I can't or this wont work it really just makes me want to prove them wrong. (funny how that doesn't work when I don't think I can.)


Daphne said...

You go P! All it takes is that edge of defiance to see the strength of your work.

I know we're the same about that.

Make us pissed off enough or listen to someone else say it doesn't work and suddently those circuits in our brains start to spark and we KNOW all of the reasons why a piece works.

Steve Kane said...

Funny how the owner thought the base looked like an afterthought and not cohesive to the head. As soon as I looked at the picture I thought the base was perfect and that was before I read your explanation for it. I immediately made the association between the teeth of the gears and the teeth on the puzzle pieces - it almost seems too obvious to even mention it.

Isn't it funny how subjective art can be? What appears to be make perfect sense to one person appears to be wrong to someone else. You stand by your guns, girlfriend.

Daniel Sroka said...

Sounds like a strangely run gallery. I'd drop the work off, then tell them to not call you about it until all three came to a mutual decision.

self taught artist said...

dan, I don't have anything to compare it to but I have to disagree about just dropping it off and not being a part of the discussion.
Its actually pretty cool to get to be there and get feedback or pipe in and answer questions.
They like to know as much about the piece and why or how I made it so when they talk to patrons they have information.
There have a been a few times they ask me to leave work there and they will discuss when they all get together and those are the times I wish I could be there to hear what they say.
Besides, with three people voting it seems to give me more of an opportunity at times!

sarala said...

He looks awesome. Hope it sells!

Clare said...

I LOVE the base for this -- it totally goes with the head. The whole piece has a wonderful personality and attitude. You made the perfect choice, no doubt about it!