For awhile now, I've wanted to express my feelings in sculptural form in terms of the prevalent obesity rise in America. There are people who are very dear to me in this state, and I wish there was more I could do for them. What is interesting to me is that it is not socially acceptable to comment or advise on the issue like it is with tobacco smokers. Our society makes it far too easy to become this way with quick, easy, and cheap fast-food. Not to mention the serving portions tripling in size over the past 10+ years. The sad thing is, I don't see it changing anytime soon. Everywhere you go, look at the ratio of healthy fit people verses the obese. It will not take long to realize how out of shape Americans are in. I don't really have any answers or great enlightenment on this subject. Nor do I wish to impress anger or insult to anyone reading this. I simply wish to illustrate the odd beauty and utter travesty of what we humans are capable of doing to our bodies.
Like all sculptures that I undertake, it is necessary to first collect reference. This particular subject matter has led me to some very unfavorable places on our "world wide web". I've seen things that I cannot erase from my mind now. One of the favorable pieces of reference I discovered was from the movie Blade. Miles Teves designed and created the massively obese character, "Pearl." The images on his website (http://milesteves.com) of this and other works are stunning!
After collecting my reference imagery, I created an armature using copper wire and aluminum foil. Once that was in place, I wrapped the foil in floral wire and liberally coated it with a 2 part resin to keep the foil from moving. My 2-year old son also lends me his skills in picking up anything he feels I might need.
After mixing about 6 pounds of Supersculpy with Burnt Umber Premo (2 lbs Sculpy to 2oz Premo), I began the arduous task of covering the foil turkey I made.
In working on this, I found it very satisfying to try and make the clay look as if gravity has a say in every lump and fold. Now that the general shapes are in place, I raked it down, smoothed it out, and started my favorite part, detailing! Stay tuned; more pictures and exciting details coming soon!