Sunday, August 10, 2008
Recently I had the pleasure to defend this piece against what I consider are much lesser works of the same subject matter. The person who was casting the dispersions on this sculpture knew only of a poor replica done of the piece that is on display at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina. Anyone that does a piece with this theme deserves great praise even for attempting it. However the pieces I've seen by other sculptors are second rate and/or have subtle secondary theme like carving yourself is and has to be fraught with errors and mistakes and missteps. One particularly disturbing version shows a man with scars on his legs where he erred.
Mistakes are likely to happen in real life, but art is there to show us the potential, the essence, the important. The important in life is not the mistakes or suffering we may experience, but the work, the triumph and the joy that is possible.
While on visits to the Polasek Museum, I have heard some great stories about both the sculptor and sculpture which I will not try to repeat here for fear of not retelling them precisely. I will instead continue to search the web for exact quotes.
This is one of the better I've come across:
"Albin Polasek was unable to find a model for the sculpture with the spirit he wanted, so he posed for it himself. There were many versions of it produced, however, before this particular edition. After Polasek completely lost the use of one side of his body due to paralysis, he wanted to have the sculpture reproduced for the grounds of his home in Winter Park. He engaged a sculptor to work under his supervision, however the new sculptor died before the sculpture was completed. Polasek then finished the sculpture with aid of his wife and his gardener. He guided the chisel in the hand of the workman."
By the bye, I received my first visitor this week from someone who was searching Google for "Capitalist Art". If there is such a thing as Capitalist art, or art for a Capitalist society and culture this is it!
There is a nice photo of "Man Carivng His Own Destiny" on Fullblown Technicolor
Here is an exceptionally cool photo of Polasek with his sculpture-in-progress
I am not as wild about this photo, but it offers some details that are not available in the others.
Here is an image of a copy of the original that is displayed in Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina: http://www.funbeaches.com/Brookgreen-Sculpture-Gardens/man-carving.jpg
Here are a couple of links to Bobbie Carlyle's 'Self-Made man'. The piece is nice, but I still favor Polasek's.