Bruce Gueswel

It is the process which is most enjoyable for me, inventing the tools or techniques when physical problems arise. This journey will inevitably influence the final piece, so the inception must be suitably vague and free to evolve.

Almost all of my work incorporates the human figure, partly because of an instinctual rightness that I first felt during academic classes in direct rendering from live models. The immediate I-Thou of responding with charcoal or clay to the light and shadow on skin and balanced bones is infinitely diverse and fascinating. Primarily, I depict the figure because making and appreciating art is so exclusively human. Ancient cultures used the figure to tell stories of religion and royalty to illiterate pilgrims. It was a symbolic language that we can still read because our bodies empathize with those images personally. I try to enhance this further by making my sculpture life-size.

In retrospect, I can see some common themes growing in my work. There is a correlation with some of my personal philosophies, subconsciously filtering through my hands, but I try to avoid specific messages that would be better suited to political or editorial cartoons. I believe that Deity and beauty reside in nature, so I use natural materials as my main medium. I think that we as a culture are fractured. We are disconnected from the earth; individuals are separated from community and family. Religions have become empty and fanatical in the face of science. My sculpted bodies are fragile, assembled broken fragments. So far, science has kept things together, so I sometimes include hardware and materials of a machine-age aesthetic to hold these sculptures together, if just barely.

My conscious goal is to make things that are beautiful, rich, and interesting enough to appreciate during extended study. In spite of a sometimes sinister and pessimistic view of the world, I am striving for balance and connectedness in my own life and intend that the playful sense of humor which elevates me is apparent in each piece.



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