Sculpture can date back to ancient times, from the Greeks and Romans to Bernini and Michelangelo. The art of sculpture is a record of human experience. It is the skill of producing in three dimensions representations of natural or imagined forms. It includes sculpture in the round, which can be viewed from any direction, as well as incised relief, in which the lines are cut into a flat surface. It captures war and religion as well as individuals and the abstract. People everywhere have found the need for sculpture, whether it is in work, play, or prayer. In the Baroque era, the Catholics and Protestants conflicted. Protestant reformers rejected the use of visual arts in the church. Because of much clerical immorality and ignorance, the Catholics needed a route of persuasion to keep churchgoers content. With the use of emotional art and music, many hearts were moved. The theatrical designs of Saint Peter’s and the Gesu in Rome are a triumphant symbol of the Roman Catholic Church’s belief in itself and its history. Bernini’s famous “The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa” was a construction of great splendor and sentiment. The amount of detail and effort put into her cloak is extraordinary. If only such talent was transported to the twenty-first century.
Enter my home. Inside is what seems to be my parent’s vision of Louis XIV’s Versailles. In a range of artwork is one alto-relief sculpture that catches my attention. Created by Bill Mack in 1995, his piece entitled, “Inspiration,” illustrates pure beauty and talent. Every detail was considered in the making of this magnum opus. My father had told me he bought it from an old lady for more than I needed to know. From the looks of it, the product was well worth it. The piece is made o…
… sculptures illustrate exquisiteness, but they also stand for something more than aesthetics. They become grand representations of humankind and everything it seeks to become. What many forget to acknowledge is that we as people create these fantastic sculptures. With the hands and intellect given to us by the architect of our lives, we in turn shape bronze, sand, and stone into depictions of life and dream.
Bill Mack’s “Inspiration” is one of the best modern sculptures I have seen. It demonstrates detail, natural beauty, and surprising craftsmanship. It is unlikely to find someone of this era who creates such magnificent pieces of art. They say that we lost the knowledge of Renaissance sculptors, that we lost their technique to make such elaborate figures. However, as I look at the work of Bill Mack’s “Inspiration,” I believe we are slowly but surely catching up.