Have you ever felt disconnected? I am not talking about solitude. We all need time alone where silence is the only noise. I am talking about loneliness. What’s the difference? Solitude is the state of being alone while loneliness is the sadness of being alone or feeling alone. Many individuals experience loneliness even when surrounded by others. That disconnect not only separates yourself from others but it separates you from you. Sometimes it is necessary to connect back to yourself as a means to understand your disconnect with everything else. Clay sculpting is one way to help you connect back to yourself.
I don’t believe art is the solution to the issues in your life. I do believe art and specially clay sculpting is a tool to connect you back to yourself. Consequently, it will help you connect back to your surroundings and the people around you, and hopefully with your Creator. The act of touching is one of the most primitive forms of communication. Through touch we get to know our parents when we are born and this same touch affirms how much they love us. Babies touch everything around them. They trust their tact more than their eyes. Kids have the need to touch to feel in connection with the surrounding reality. Seeing is not always enough. How many times you had to be told not to touch stuff in the stores? Affection is known through hugs and caress. Many lives had been truncated and crippled by unwanted touch. Healing often occurs through touch as it is in many traditions. God had to form the first man to feel a deeper connection with him. Thomas had to touch Jesus after His resurrection to believe.
Clay sculpting opens neurological paths to our emotions helping to open our souls and prepare us for healing. It is not only a creative outlet which benefits are compared with meditation, but also a bridge to our intimate feelings, good experiences and traumatic experiences. I love to observe and listen to people in my private classes and sculpting parties. Through the process of creating a clay sculpture they reveal their insecurities, both physical and emotional, and they feel free to talk about it. That is a good step towards healing.
My interest for studying the human figure began back in high school. I saw the work of Boris Vallejo and it caused a great impression on me. Even before I decided to pursue a BA in Fine Arts I began drawing the figure. My style and use of the line began developing as my interest for understanding the intricacies of the human body.
Working with live models in college opened a new vision of the nude figure. As year passed I continue the process of understanding the connection between how we see the human body and our spiritual nature. The first clay nude sculpture ever created was made by God in the garden of Eden when He created the first man. Being able to sculpt the human figure is for me like partaking in the experience of creation with God.
Interestingly, it was the fall of men that changed our vision of the body and so it began:
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
Studying the figure also gives the opportunity to study human behavior. The way we look at the naked body is an indication of a spiritual condition deeper than skin. Each perspective is possibly an indication of a distorted truth, a life changing experience, scars and issues of the past. I don’t pretend to justify my art and how I represent the body in my work. Nevertheless, I hope that your encounter with my work helps you consider your own condition. “Where are you?”
That is one interesting question. Each day is different. I invite you to visit my mind when I am working with a sculpture. First, from the idea to the final product it is like time travel. I have to see it finished before I begin and it is a constant back and forward in this process. Form! I work with the human body. When I look at the naked figure I see forms. The structure of the body is complex but simple at the same time if you look at the body as basic shapes joined together by skin. Lines, volume, the effects of light, the shadows it produces, the foldings of the skin based on the position of the body, the bone structure trying to show itself under the skin, the rhythm of the pose… May I continue?
The body becomes inspiration. No, I do not see the body as a sexual object when I work. There are also some angles and positions I do not like… I’m not that kind of doctor. I like to see the body as a tool to express emotions that are not often articulated. I want the figure to communicate directly to the viewer. No explanation needed if they can speak to each other soul to soul.
Through all that, while I sculpt, I could be watching a documentary, listening to music, chatting, checking my Instagram and my Facebook, considering my life situation, planing other pieces, thinking about my next show or sculpting party, figuring out my agenda, and tons of jokes that I’ll probably never say in public.
If you want to ask me about more specific questions go ahead.
Imagine for a moment that you want to focus a blog based on your experience in a particular field. Experience on a field of knowledge comes generally from academics or work. Sometimes we gain experience in other ways vicariously or intentionally. In my case, I had work in a few different things and loved different areas of my academic fields enough to share from these experiences. My mind map for a blog would probably look like a maze where each turn from one experience in one field crosses over experiences in other fields. Sounds complicated? Imagine you are inside a brain with work experience in radio, tv, graphic design, art, education, technology, bible, motivational speech and comedy. Interestingly, I learn and teach with a holistic vision. If you read my teaching statement you may understand what I mean. In this blog I’ll be writing about many things that may seem random but each thought is interconnected in the way I approach life. It is also reflected in my art, my research, my interest in the human brain and behavior, my way of teaching, and just in my private meditation and contemplation. I am planing to share some of my research, the subject of future research ideas (sounds boring but it is not), experiences in classes and workshops, my thoughts as I approach my art, and my meditations about life in general. Maybe in a few months I could put it all together and make a book.