My early exposure to the arts was classical. As a youngster, seeing the more expressive figurative and abstract sculpture of Mario Cravo openned my eyes to the impact of contemporary art in public spaces. At the same time, folk art ceramic figures, sold in Brazilian markets, gave me a strong appreciation of the primitive origins of representational sculpture . My first carvings were in wood with exaggerated features. I later discovered Honore Daumier's work and was enchanted by his caricatures. During my first apprenticeship, with artist Alecy de Azevedo, I learned more about anatomy and expression. I cast several of my pieces in bronze during my second apprenticeship at Meza Bronze Foundry, under the tutelage of Dick Tuma. During my short foray into art school, I did some sand casting in aluminum and found that working with other artists and craftsmen was more rewarding for me. Towards the end of the 70's, form became more important to me than figurative details. Gaston Lachaise, whose massive, voluptuous nudes seem to float effortlessly, Rodin, whose distortions of physical features are so expressive, and Ernts Barlach, who captured explosive motion in his work, inspired.me to be more experimental. My work with Caribé showed me the importance of personal style. His work expressed the human figure more as gestures, almost symbolic, imbued with motion and sensuality. Learning more about Alexander Calder's work and his playful nature, Constantin Brancusi's abstractions of forms, and the endless possibilities other great artists have explored, the human figure became less important as a subject and I began exploring form and motion as catalists for my work.
Copyright © 2011 Marcos Smyth. All rights reserved.