(E)scape – New Faces, 2014
Cast aluminum, steel base
May 3, 2016 – August 1, 2016
(E) scape – New Faces are two heads, one with beard and one without, facing each other across an expanse, an entry, attempting dialog, guardians, welcoming, creating an energetic and emotional landscape accompanying the rock/hill, trees and other land forms of the physical landscape of Marcus Garvey Park. They are based on a composite of several models I have worked with over many years, and represent a fusion of cultural, biological and psychological influences which seemed appropriate to a park like this. The works are cast in aluminum and set on a steel base. I felt the aluminum, which is tinted with mineral compounds, allowed a striking range of light value- from dark to light- playing richly in our eyes as might a drawing, in contrast to most patinad cast bronze works which by their nature have a more constrained range of tonal value.
His work explores representational and abstract elements of the human form, fusing it with contemporary influences. He creates as a vehicle for learning about ancient selves in modern contexts, for playing at the visible frontier where the future emerges from Now.
Most of his works involve some clay which he hand model using a variety of self-developed or traditional sculpture methods. He loves clay for its highly impressionable qualities – its ability to capture the most fleeting experiences in form. Figures, where used, involve close observation of a live figure model with a focus on gesture, psychology, movement. This is the result of extensive (8 years) of formal anatomical and sculpture education.
He seeks to birth the work in contemporary context through a process that includes a range of new or postmodern influences such as, in current work, aleotoric inclusions, sculptural assemblage, translation of provisional hand gesturing into 3-d form, transcending normal sculptural media through for example dimensional inversion, (sculpting inside out space as opposed to traditional form) or cross-media transformation into sculptural form (e.g. digital translation processes or music transposition into physical form.) The resulting work straddles familiarity and newness, melding form and idea.
Finally he apply a range of methods to stabilize the work, from traditional ceramic firing methods (raku, noborigama wood kiln, high and low-fire, salt and glazes) to mold and cast methods such as lost wax bronze casting, 3-D printing or other computer-mediated or modern materials casting. Each work, even in a limited edition, is unique with extensive customization of wax casts as well as grinding, chasing and patina, all done or directly supervised by him. Often the works are not complete until set into installation or placed in context of space, place or cultural juxtaposition – this is an aspect of sculpture that he has come to accept and embrace, despite the practical complexities involved.
Bob Clyatt grew up in Northern California, dedicated to art photography, mountaineering and Berkeley, and participating in the early cultural zeitgeist that birthed Silicon Valley. Absorbing those many influences created enduring patterns of fusion in Bob’s work – ancient and contemporary, organic and technological, Asian and Western.
During the 1990s Bob focused on business innovation founding two firms sold to public companies including i/o 360, an early NYC human-machine interaction design firm. He then returned to creating studio art with 8 years intensive study of sculpture, centering on his years at the Art Students League of New York under the guidance of Barney Hodes. The Art Students League’s centuries-old atelier training method pairs students with accomplished artist/teachers in mentoring relationships, allowing a natural cultivation of creative exploration and growth. Bob also has degrees from U.C. Berkeley and MIT, and lived in Europe and Asia for 5 years. He lives and has his studio in Rye, NY.
Two of Bob’s works were acquired for the permanent collections of noted art museums this Fall. Raku Man on Pillar was gifted to Burchfield-Penney Museum in Buffalo, NY by noted ceramics collector Dean Spong as part of a major new gift, the Dean Spong Collection of figurative art. Nursing Mother with Smartphone was acquired by Museum of Contemporary Art of Sicily (MAcS in Catania Sicily) for their growing collection of contemporary figurative art.