Victor Issa, a leading sculptor with studios in Loveland,
Colorado, specializes in the figure and has created a series of
new works based on dancers. Mr. Issa said, "To optimize the
perception of physical movement and ever-changing expression that
is characteristic of a dancer requires more than just the dynamic
alignment of body parts. For example, when you analyze the
appearance of a moving object as an instant in time, it looks
blurred. Nothing appears to be in perfect focus, and the brain
interprets that illusion as motion. Painters use rough and rapid
brush strokes to convey the effect; photographers blur their
subjects; and sculptors do the same thing. We sculpt a textured
surface to simulate the 'blur', thus the perception of movement
of a figure in a leaping pose, for example, is enhanced by the
addition of the 'blurred' surface."
Victor Issa honors the female form above all others in his many creations. "Nothing on Earth is more beautiful and graceful than 'woman', and I am endlessly inspired by the breadth of feeling one can experience through the movement and expression of the female form," Mr. Issa states. He has now created a unique eight minute video compressing years of the creation of one dynamic sculpture in to a 'how to' for the general public.
According to Issa, it is possible to capture a person's persona in sculpture. "Much figurative sculpture looks like…well…sculpture," he said. "It's attractive and looks like a person, but it's obvious that the object is a cold, hard metal representation. The personality and energy of the subject is usually absent. It's a very difficult effect to achieve because so many variables are involved in creating the illusion of metal appearing 'alive.' Those variables might include the model's form and size, the model's mood or attitude, and basic visual art elements including theme, texture, composition, drapery, the unique skills of the artist, as well as the bronze foundry."
"The nude in art is as old as art itself," Victor Issa continues, "And was the earliest and most basic depiction of human life. However, often a more complex and aesthetic composition is achieved through the use of drapery, a dramatic design technique used frequently in all art forms. Properly placed, the dramatic (or subtle) lines of fabric enhance the grace, form and flow of a design. Moreover, examples from classical sculpture demonstrate how effectively drapery not only enhances but also "describes" the body. Indeed, in classical works (e.g., Michelangelo, da Vinci, Bernini, Rodin), it is generally easy to "see" the form and vitality of the body beneath the drapery although completely covered. The illusion is successful because the artists understand that fabric and clothing form to the figure, while the reverse is not true."
Victor Issa adds, "Another technique used to highlight the body is the illusion of 'wet' fabric. The clinging-cloth effect accentuates an awareness of the form beneath- rather than detract from it-and although 'covered,' the natural beauty and elegance of the human form is optimized. This approach demands that the sculptor completes a perfect nude work first, then 'applies' clothing meticulously and gracefully."
Watch here below to see a fascinating 8 minute documentary titled Eden Restored, the Making of a Monument, created by Victor Issa, which follows the three-year process from concept to unveiling of one of his greatest works.
© 2011, The Hollywood Sentinel.