Martin Spei

sculpture, bronze sculpture

“It is a great mistake to think anything too profound or rich for a popular audience. No train of thought is too deep or subtle or grand, but the manner of presenting it to their untutored minds should be peculiar. It should be presented in anecdote or sparkling truism or telling illustration or sparkling epithet, etc.; always in some concrete form, never in a logical, …

“It is a great mistake to think anything too profound or rich for a popular audience. No train of thought is too deep or subtle or grand, but the manner of presenting it to their untutored minds should be peculiar. It should be presented in anecdote or sparkling truism or telling illustration or sparkling epithet, etc.; always in some concrete form, never in a logical, abstract, syllogistic shape.” Rufus Choate 1799-1859 I ascribe my style of sculpture to Mr. Choate’s theory, however dated it will seem to many of my contemporaries. I want to engage my audience with very clear references so that the meaning and story behind the sculpture is relevant and profound. I observe ordinary people in the world and they give me great cause for curiosity. The images of postures and symbolistic gestures I encounter turn into objects in my mind. The objects I make question the efficacy of the tasks we perform, mostly bringing attention to the labor and intention required to complete our tasks. I want my figures and images to represent the outcome of continuous endeavor and the satisfaction of desire found in achievement. The making of classic bronze sculpture is an involved process. The initial sculpting in clay is my favorite part of that process - the planning, labor and building up of the surface of the clay. The creating an armature and then the many subsequent processes evolve into the language I use to communicate with myself and the physical world. My work is inspired primarily by the Ashcan School and the Social Realism movement. My first inspiration was the Diego Rivera mural at the Detroit Institute of Art, an immense work of art that thrilled me as a child and from which I continue to draw inspiration. I work mostly in bronze, but also sculpt using iron, aluminum, rubber, resin, plaster and wood.

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