Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Alison Saar my biggest influence

I was thinking today of some of my sculptures and how they all have a similar feel, not just because of the material, but because of the meanings behind them. I know that others that look at my work may not understand what I was trying to convey. But, I like to hear how others interpret my work and what it means to them.

I was also trying to figure out who I admired most as an artist and how their work influenced my work. I am not sure if I learned about Alison Saar before I started creating my work or if I just became attracted to her work because of the similarities. We both use natural materials and found objects, and all of our pieces tell a story.

Compton Nocturne, 1999
wood, tin, bottles, paint, tar
33 x 80 x 28 inches

This was the first piece I saw of Alison Saar's. It is at the UNC Greensboro Weatherspoon Art Museum.

This passage is taken from Wikipedia:
"Her sculptures and installations explore themes of African cultural diaspora and spirituality, and her studies of Latin American, Caribbean and African art and religion have informed her work. Saar’s fascination with vernacular folk art and ability to build an oasis of beauty from cast-off objects are evident in her sculptures and paintings. Saar’s highly personal, often life-sized sculptures are marked by their emotional candor, and by contrasting materials and messages that imbue her work with a high degree of cultural subtext."

While I was teaching art at Kenyatta University, Kenya, I was greatly influenced by the stylized work that was taught there. And how the images were not just to be "pretty" but to create an emotion and to tell a story. While in Kenya I also took an African art history course and did research on the African pottery makers. All of which comes through in my work.

Birth of Nations - 2007
Ceramic, cast glass, copper wire

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