I get a near erotic thrill from viewing masterful Chinese calligraphy.
What began in prehistoric China as ideograms -- simple pictures of
objects -- have developed over centuries into a complex written
language so elegant and expressive it inhabits a visual art form of its
own. Sweeping the characters with my eyes I can feel the dance of the
calligrapher, particularly in the Ts'ao Shu style, where clarity gives
way to wild passion.
For years I have struggled to reproduce the grace and power of Chinese calligraphy, and then to expand those shapes into three dimensions. The challenge is to translate the delicacy and stretch of an ink-loaded brush into a spatial medium strong enough to resist the ruinous temptations of gravity.
The first step was to recreate the flashed drawing in monotype, preserving the spatial sweep of the brush. The resulting image became a model for an object painfully constructed from welded steel and then graced with a soft skin of rubbed wax. The final bronze casting imitates those fluid shapes I so delight in when brush is charged with ink and bone with flesh.