I have completed a number of commissions, mostly for sculptures of different creatures. Sometimes people will ask for a sculpture that looks “something” like a photo they have of a completed sculpture. When I started to get those requests, I have to admit that I despaired, feeling that I did not want to and wouldn’t be able to make an exact copy of the sculpture in question. Ultimately that wasn’t what most people have been looking for. To different degrees these patrons embraced the insertion of my view and personality into the pieces.
Other times people will ask for a sculpture of a __________ (fill in the blank). When this happens I ask who their favorite artists are, get images to look at, and dialogue a bit to find out what about those specific artists is compelling. And I proceed with the sculpture by keeping these traits in mind.
For example, I created a sculpture (Annanuki Adam) for a local man whose wife had previously commissioned this piece. Annanuki Adam stands to the left of his fireplace and is a kind of guardian of the hearth. Then this man's wife asked for a sculpture of Eve (the biblical Eve) to stand on the other side of the fireplace, and said she admired the work of Constantine Brancusi and Jose de Rivera. In the art of theirs that I focused on, these artists simplify the human form and face. Therefore, when I created “Eve After the Fall,” I went for as much simplicity as I could.
While creating the piece, the idea of developing an image of Eve as a powerful, sexual being after the biblical “fall” took hold. I was looking to banish shame from this story. As I do with all of my commissions, I sent frequent photos to the patron of the sculpture, as well as posting them on my Facebook page. I love getting feedback on both fronts. In this case the feedback opened me up to pushing this concept. This Eve stands in nature, holding modified serpent forms which balance her, with a quirky smile on her face.