Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Man in the Borsalino Hat

In looking around our tiny abode I realized on every wall space is a painting, an original piece of art, and I thought, Wow! I could really bore the hell out of people by telling them about it.

I am starting with our most recent addition.

Heath Hens 1
Heath Hen, Driven to Extinction, 1932 ink and pencil on paper 32”x35”

This piece is part of Todd McGrain's Lost Bird Project. From his website:
Lost Bird Mission Statement
“They cannot drive out of a cloud, nor clap their wings in thunderous applause. They know no urge of seasons; they feel no kiss of sun, no lash of wind and weather, they live forever by not living at all.” Aldo Leopold, 1947
The Lost Bird Project recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing North American birds, which have been driven to extinction, including the Passenger Pigeon, the Carolina Parakeet, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, and the Heath Hen.

The bronze sculptures I am creating will be subtle, beautiful, and hopeful reminders. The human scale of each sculpture elicits a physical sympathy. The smooth surface, like a stone polished from touch, conjures the effect of memory and time. I model these gestural forms to contain a taut equilibrium, a balanced pressure from outside and from inside—like a breath held in. As a group they are melancholy, yet affirming. They compel us to recognize the finality of our loss, they ask us not to forget them, and they remind us of our duty to prevent further extinction.

Lost Bird Project

A facinating process: on plywood painted white, using airbrush ink, pencil, and a "mysterious scratching process" reminiscent of the Heath Hen and known only to the Artist, the original is formed. It is then scanned and some photoshop happens.

The next step uses giant archival printers and final touches to the details of the print you see hanging here.
Heath Hens 2

Heath Hens 3
These pictures do not do the beauty of this piece justice, the colors, the face, the feet, I love it, and you do too.

Go check out his sculptures and drawings.

1 comment:

Gunnar Berg said...

I'm not bored. I love good art. I love bad art. Even the poorly executed pieces have somebody behind them with passion. If nothing else I can appreciate that.

My photo
The Hidden Fortress, Zombie Free Since 1998
Photos are provided for personal use only, and may not be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used as the basis for derivative works without the prior express written authorization from the copyright owner. ME!