Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sculptor Christopher Green Sees the Potential in each Piece of Stone

A glimpse into Christopher Green’s art studio might seem akin to stumbling through a rock quarry.  “They are all just like boulders. You wouldn’t be able to see the differences,” says the Somers Sculptor. That said, any addition of unvarnished geology to his stash is like a Christmas morning gift – only the thrill involved in shedding the exterior takes place before he ever puts chisel to the marble, alabaster or limestone encasing.
“I get excited just seeing them because there’s potential,” says Green.
But what firmly pushed his inspiration towards the arts was a mystery that requires minimal unraveling for most of us. “I was dyslexic. I had trouble reading and fell farther and farther behind in school. But I saw that I could draw, and I was always carving things,” he said.
Math not much of a relief either, he still thinks a general understanding of geometry plays a part in providing symmetry and balance to each piece.  “I wouldn’t say overtly – in the background, I guess,” says the British born immigrant of six years.
The cost involved, though, is always at the fore. Often traveling to The Complete Sculptor in Manhattan to get most of the stones, he says, “it’s ridiculously expensive,” and if he can’t contain his enthusiasm for a piece found abroad, the payoff is even more difficult to balance out.
The two months it takes him to complete a piece also  diminishes the returns, while believing that grounding a piece of stone to a mantle doesn’t sit as well among art lovers as a two dimensional hanging of color and texture.  “You’re competing with paintings, but you can’t, and that makes it difficult,” he says.
The stones themselves don’t always cooperate either. “I had a commission once, doing a face. It was going great until the last minute – one side fell away. It broke my heart,” he says.
The customer still liking the unconventional look, Green let them have it for free, but the unpredictable nature of rocks is a challenge he welcomes and works around. “You come across all sorts of strange things. It’s like the lottery – you never know,” say Green.
As of late, his metamorphosis has been around the symmetrical curves of the female form. Doing a series called Looking Back, the sculptor has become intrigued by the way women flip their hair back when someone calls them from behind. “It’s typically feminine. It’s a study of women,” he says.
On the other hand, his wife became a little concerned when she found pictures of Kim Kardashian plastered all over the studio and from every angle. “The last piece I did was called, Woman on the Red Carpet. Based on Kardashian, they just pose there in ridiculous dresses that they can’t move in. Just all that nonsense and so I did that,” he says.
Sounding reasonable enough, things have been a struggle lately. “I haven’t sold anything this year,” he says.
Nonetheless, he’s reaching out to galleries throughout this drought.  Writing over 30 letters, he says, “I’m getting that side done.”
Thus, his wife is helping him stay on a firm financial foundation, the artist’s struggle to get by has always been a drive that equals the need to create.  “I think it’s a natural human instinct. You see the stone age man, having to kill the Tyrannosaurus Rex – they were still finding time to put art on the wall,” he jokes.
Regardless, he’d welcome a reply from any of the galleries so as to remove a few of the teeth from all the things that take him away from his chisel.

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