Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Looking at Art Thursday

This is my first in a series of Thursday posts on art.

My apologies for the lack of work you are going to get done while looking at these images of artist Duane Hanson, via the Saatchi Gallery in London. They have an amazing website featuring contemporary artists, seen in their permanent and traveling exhibits. The Saatchi is only more enjoyable in person.

Duane Hanson

Since the early 1970’s Duane Hanson has been making startlingly lifelike sculptures of middle America accomplished through a complex process of casting from live models, recreated in bronze or fiberglass resin.

His sculptures focus on "ordinary" people just moving through their day. People you might not notice walk past you. The people Hanson studied weren't required to be pretty, although some are. They are wearing unfashionable clothes and often a posture of exhaustion. These are people who carry the burden of life on their faces and Hanson shows us a moment of their life with dignity and respect. I find his work much more interesting than life-like wax figures of celebrities.

I had seen an exhibit of Hanson's work when I was a kid and one day while I was walking through galleries at a museum in Richmond, VA, I saw a guy sitting on a bench that looked exactly like one of Hanson's pieces. I actually let out a little yelp when the utterly still "sculpture" stood up and walked out of the room.

I hope you enjoy Duane Hanson's work and I am eager to hear your comments.

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