Artist Statement 2009
by Wesley Wofford
My sculpture has two drastically different modes of expression. The intent of the first mode is the conveyance of relatable ideas. These sculptures tend to look more traditional and they reflect an emotional gravity that engages the viewer to feel something. The second mode presents a more abstracted interpretation of anatomy that focuses on sculpture as form yet still retains the passion of the human figure. My most recent thoughts in regard to my work are to expose the common thread between my two styles.
Throughout history, the word “sculpture” has referred to the modeling or carving of a material to represent an object, with the major emphasis being the representation of the human form. Within the last 100 years,” sculpture” has come to include a broad range of forms: performance and installation pieces, life casting, various forms of constructivism, abstract expressionism, non-objective works, etc. Most viewers today can “timestamp” a sculpture to within several decades of its creation by referencing a sort of culturally ingrained catalog that chronicles the evolution of sculpture over that last 500 years.
The challenge for a figurative sculptor in the 21st century is not only how to make your work relevant in today’s world, but to create your own language that stands the test of time. I am exploring the concept of obscuring the timestamp on my sculpture, so its origins aren’t as transparent to the viewer.
“Reawakening” is one example of this concept. I have two different finishes for the bronze editions. One is a very antiqued/weather worn patina that could place it within the first half of the 20th century. The second finish is a red enamel that brings it closer to the end of the 20th century or beyond. By altering the finish, you invariably remove the decade or art movement in which it seemed to be created.
I am also exploring this concept on a larger scale within my entire body of work with two sculptural styles. “Comprehension” is an example of my more traditional style, whereas “Yin” and “Yang” are more modern, abstracted compositions. When exhibited together, they blur the timestamp of when they were produced, both within the context of humanity’s existence as well as within my own evolution as an artist.