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In my opinion a sculpture is an embodiment (rather than a depiction) in three dimensions of a constellation of characteristics, emotions, associations and influences meant to present something beyond "representation" (re-presentation) to the viewer. I think this is true whether the sculpture is figurative or abstract. It should convey something meaningful to the viewer beyond that which may be articulated in words (if that were possible words would be a much more economical means than a sculpture). Each of my sculptures is trying to embody a constellation of meaning centered around a particular aspect of life. I began as a figurative sculptor, and taught that subject in art schools. I suppose it is easy to see how figurative work (if done well) could be meaningful to viewers, who after all are themselves figures (that is, people). At a certain point, seeking to expand expressive means, my work turned more and more abstract, and for about fifteen years I made public art works in that mode, which are permanently installed from coast to coast in America. Those sculptures expressed the same qualities referred to above: in their case centering on the phenomenon of growth, one that is shared by all living things. Then, gradually, seeking to make my work more meaningful for myself and the viewer the work became more and more figurative once more, while retaining what I learned working abstractly. This change wasn't planned - it just happened. Currently, a particular work is generated when an aspect of my own life, how it might be universal, and a sculptural form which might embody or express feelings about that aspect coalesce. No single one of those elements comes first – they are simultaneous.
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