The Art Of The Human Essence
Can art capture the essence of human life? What is the essence of a human? Is it the body or the mind? Could it be both? Is it possible to portray the body, and the mind of a human in one single work of art? Hmmm too many questions I know, but that’s what Antony Gormley attempts to do with his incredible sculptures.
Beauty of art in my opinion is that is has no limitations on what it can capture, however, in a world of so many aspiring artists who are trying to make it big, at times the whole purpose of art itself becomes forgotten. Art is timeless because it is the footprint of a society and of the time they lived. Often times information that we have about society thousands of years before us are all gathered from what they left behind in the form of art. Their stories of wars, and glory told through pottery paintings, frescoes, cave drawings, monuments, statues, temples, written in stones, etc. When we go to museums and see paintings from the renascence, or the not so long ago early 20th century, it is like we are traveling to that particular time and for a moment we can understand the way we humans rationalized about things during their lifetime.
Gormley has been a veteran of being able to capture that human essence of our times for decades now, and his sculptures and large-scale installations are really a reflection of our rapidly changing society. His sculptures of the human body are amazingly interesting, not only for the fact that they are based on real models (often times himself as it is apparent with his earlier works), they sort of portray more than just a different perspective of the human body, but it is almost as if he was able to capture the model’s thoughts and feelings through them. We cannot compare the arts from today with the classical ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, the Renascence, or even the neoclassical era, but that is what makes it so remarkable because in a way we are leaving behind our own footprint for future generations to unearth and see things through our eyes.
Antony Gormley is no stranger to this concept since he graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Arts. He was born in London during the 1950’s and for decades this tyrant of the modern arts have been gracing our planet with thousands of wonderful sculptures inspired in and created with the human body. Putting even more focus on the human condition since the early 90’s, he is able to capture the energy, the physicality, and the connections between the human essence and the arts as a one combined trait. He has had hundreds of solo and group exhibitions in Europe, the U.S. and Asia…. His sculptures can be found literally everywhere, and if you reside in Montreal as I do, then you can find of his works outside the Musee des Beaux-Arts titled “Building IV” sculpture. And if you so happen to be around the Vancouver area from now until mid may, then you will be able to catch his exhibition “Drift II 2007” as a part of the Visceral Bodies at the Vancouver Art Gallery.