1993, Painted Corrugated Metal & Resin, 24” x 18” x 5”
The Windwalker is a complicated work. The sense of motion in the piece expresses the intensity of extreme sports. A barnstorming aviator has left the cockpit of a perfectly good airplane and has crawled out onto the top of the wings, where he straps himself down feet first and stands up hands free. You can hear the rush of wind and the roar of the engine in your head as you slice through the sky.
As far as materials were concerned, I wanted to take a shot at using industrial
corrugated metal as an art form. Painted blue and cut at an angle, the metal works well as waves, representing the place where sky and sea meet. The figure has two legs, bisected at the hip level by another plane that represents the flow of hydro and aerodynamics. It’s all about the flow in dynamics because without it you have neither steerage or lift. Steerage is a co-efficient of drag on the rudder while lift occurs from the shape of the wings cutting through the atmosphere.
A primary debate in every piece revolves around whether or not to show the trick. There is always a trick in creating sculpture, but I rarely choose to expose it. You will often find a fair amount of sleight of hand in my work and this piece takes full advantage of the high weight-to-strength ratio of fabricated aluminum. The figure’s feet are welded to the waves with minimal surface and the welds ground smooth so that when the piece is enameled, the original material and welds are hidden seamlessly.
Windwalker is a precursor for things to come on two different levels. Figuratively, it not only advances my concepts of motion and materials but also of what is meant to be freestanding. This leads directly to the solutions found in my next era, the Stone Age, where my theories resolve themselves directly in marble. By using the red semi-opaque resin head, it also foreshadows the Modern Era where I manipulate synthetic materials in experiments that ultimately lead to breakthroughs in a multitude of dimensions.
I always choose my subjects carefully. I am very mindful that some sculptures take a
long time and, if I am going to be spending a lot of time with a particular idea, I want
to make sure it can be fully developed; but it really is a combination of everything. I
try to keep my eyes and ears open as I work, because ideas can come from any place. Sometimes it’s in the material and you have to listen so it will guide you while at other times, you are literally bending the world to your will. What it’s all about is getting to the essence of what you are really trying to say. That’s the most important thing.