The Carole Feuerman Studio in a Blizzard

After three weeks of work in the studio, intern Craig writes about some of Carole’s pieces and the jobs he’s been working on.

Three weeks now!  It hasn’t been so many days, with Christmas and the new year, but I’ve gotten more comfortable working in this studio and going between my head and my hands in the different tasks I’m doing around here.

We packed a giant woman into four crates on Tuesday.  She’s called DurgaMa, and she sits cross legged with her shoulders back on top of a flower.  Each petal had to be wrapped individually with Tyvek and foam, so that’s what I spent most of the day doing.  DurgaMa ignored me the whole time, half in a box and locked into her contemplation.  We’re sending her across the country to Los Angeles, to a show called INTO ACTION!

According to it’s organizers, INTO ACTION! “is a celebration of community power + cultural resistance, bringing together hundreds of the nation's top visual artists, activists and influencers for creative installations, powerful panels, and music performances,” and is starting already this Friday the 13th.  In this weather, I was thinking about crawling into the crates with her.

Rob and Mathew pack a crate with  DurgaMa 's petals.

Rob and Mathew pack a crate with DurgaMa's petals.

A couple millennia ago, after Alexander’s empire fell apart, it was succeeded by a bunch of different Greek speaking kingdoms.  In the far east of the Hellenistic world were the Bactrian Kingdom and the Indo-Greek kingdom, and life in these kingdoms combined the conquering Hellenic culture with local traditions and practices.  The first anthropomorphic depictions of the Buddha come from this era.  These religious sculptures would be covered in schist so that they could be detailed down to the fingernails.

DurgaMa is syncretic, like the Hellenistic Buddhas.  On one hand, she is named after an aspect of Devi from the Shakti tradition of Hinduism, the warrior and creator goddess Durga.  On the other hand, this woman wears a one piece bathing suit linking her to the rest of Carole’s Swimmers series.  The curator Simeran Maxwell writes that the “graceful upturned faces” of Carole’s sculptures “present proud and confident women who revel in personal triumph and erotic liberation and in the sensual quality of water.”  Durga defeated the invincible buffalo demon Mahishasura after a ten day battle.  Maybe the contemplating woman depicted in DurgaMa is quietly sitting in the triumph of restoring balance after her own ten day battle with demonic forces.

DurgaMa,  assembled.

DurgaMa, assembled.

Maybe she was dealing with frozen pipes.  As I’m sitting here in the studio writing about DurgaMa, I can see a blizzard that’s being called a “bomb cyclone” come down through the window.  I’m wrapped up in my biggest sweater and two pairs of pants.  It’s dissonant to look at and think about Carole’s swimsuit clad figures in the thick of a New York winter, the dissonance that comes from having your visual understanding of a situation contradicted by information that you get in other ways.  

Even without a blizzard, that dissonance is always present in Carole’s work.  It defies expectations to see drops of water that will never slide or dry, to see people that will always be relieved at their escapes but never get emotional distance from the moment.

Yesterday a senior fabricator, Natasha, started teaching me how to do the lay-up of one of Carole’s sculptures, a Mini Serena.  Serena is resting on an inner tube, her head on her arm.  She looks tired and self-satisfied.  One of the artists here, Heath, said he saw in it the story of a woman who has escaped abuse and created a new life for herself, and is resting in that moment of security she has created.

Natasha's torso and the  Mini Serena  mold.

Natasha's torso and the Mini Serena mold.

I thought about that story as I was applying layers of resin and fiberglass to her mold, building up her substance from the outside of her skin in.  Is there a metaphor there?  I think so but I guess it's not about Serena's journey. 

Serena self-realizes, and it's impossible for me as another person in dialogue with her to replicate her self-realization.  Instead I have to begin at the level of her skin to work down to the things that give her strength and solidity.  If viewers can take that time to explore the narrative of an art object they interact with, exploring that object's material and spiritual reality, then they can learn what techniques they need to use inside themselves to replicate what they find appealing in that object.  I'm attracted to Serena's floating, mobile self-security; maybe in understanding her production I can find that security for myself.

—Craig Hartl

What's it like to start out at Carole A. Feuerman's studio?

A new intern started at my New York studio this week.  Craig is a graduate of Pratt in Brooklyn, where he studied product design, and he’s going to be gaining experience doing both writing and fabrication work for the studio.  I asked him to write a post about how his first week here has been:

I have worked a lot of different kinds of jobs.  I grew up in Scotland and Ohio, and ever since I moved to New York six years ago it’s been non-stop hustle.  Working for Carole so far has been validating because it feels like the different kinds of work and education I’ve landed in could all be useful in some way here.  Beyond that, her studio is a place where I’m going to have the chance to expand a lot of different skills that I’ve only been able to dip my toes into before.  Instead of spending all day yelling at tourists for the East River Ferry or getting paid under the table to package toffees Uptown, here I get to engage with the art world both as someone who can think and write about the work of a groundbreaking sculptor like Carole and who can work with my hands with the team that realizes her ideas.

Getting down to business with  Survival of Serena.

Getting down to business with Survival of Serena.

Last week I translated Carole’s bio into German, my family language, and Greek, which I learned while attending a university in Athens for a year.  Translating an artist’s biography is a more difficult linguistic task than I expected it to be!  In Greek, I immediately ran into the problem that a direct translation of hyperrealism, “υπερρεαλισμός,” is a word that’s used in Greek to refer to the Surrealist movement of the early 20th century.  It took research on Greek art blogs that talked about Carole and her contemporaries to find out that the movement that she helped pioneer is usually referred to by its English name in Greek to avoid confusion.

In German, there was a different set of obstacles.  German has a lot of what are known as false friends: words that sound the same in German and English but have subtly different uses between the languages.  When I sent my draft to my papa to proofread, he had to remind me that while English uses the word sculpture for both the field of making sculptures and the sculptures themselves, Skulptur in German only refers to the art object produced and the field is usually called Bildhauerkunst.  Luckily these obstacles are enjoyable to overcome; by comparing the way words and ideas are talked about in different languages, it becomes more possible to precisely grasp the ideas themselves and the meaning that underlies the communication mode you’re employing.

In the end, this is one of the exciting things about art as a communication method.  The art objects that Carole produces are ways of producing a dialogue that you would conduct very differently in English or Greek.  That’s been the other engaging thing about beginning work in this studio: the chance to interact intimately with Carole’s work.

This week I waxed a giant inflatable swan at Mana Contemporary in New Jersey, and buffed up giant women to get them ready to show.  In New York, I worked on chasing a cast of a new sculpture and taping up a Balance to be ready for painting.  Spending more time with these sculptures makes room for the strangeness of the studio to sink into me bit by bit: beautiful figures surrounded by disembodied limbs everywhere, crates full of people, scale shifts that leave you unsure if you’re a giant or an ant.  My coworkers switching back and forth unconsciously between calling the sculptures hers, hims, and its.  Watching a models face get consumed by casting goop.  Getting spooked by the bronze bust of a man that I see behind me in the mirror every time I open the bathroom door.

Heath works on  Midpoint.

Heath works on Midpoint.

I talked with the studio team a little about the surreality of the space, and according to them everyone adjusts to it eventually.  The works are their profession, they have to be rationalized and understood practically so that they can be produced to the highest quality.  I understand the necessary trade off, but for now I’m in love with the contrasts in this space, the fantastic interior reality of this artist’s studio invisible to the satellites passing overhead.  I’m thrilled to have the next three weeks of this internship in this space.

—Craig Hartl

Carole Feuerman’s Sculptures Installed Throughout Europe

Art lovers around the world will be going to Europe over the next five months to see the art chosen for the Venice Biennale, Art Basel and Documenta 14.  If you are going to Europe, you should stop in to see Carole A. Feuerman’s latest public exhibitions! Let me tell you about the shows that are currently in place. 

 

The first show you should see is her solo exhibition in Venice featuring ten iconic outdoor sculptures. Located right next to the Venice Biennale on the canal Arsenale stop, her sculptures are keeping the largest yachts company. This exhibition, “Personal Structures, Open Borders" is installed in the Giardino Della Marinaressa (Riva dei Sette Martiri, 30122 Venice, Italy) and is open to the public through December 5, 2017, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily, but her Venice shows do not stop there. Her works can also be seen in Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo, San Clemente Palace, and Bel-Air Fine Art Gallery.

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Things I'm Thankful for And What I'm Looking Forward to In 2017

I have much to be thankful for and to look forward to in 2017. I'd like to share them with you.

I'm Thankful for - the gift of health and having all my senses. When I wake up every day and I can breathe, get out of bed, can see,  can walk,  can exercise, can talk, can listen, and can make myself vital, I’m having a great day.

I'm Thankful for- My family. I am so grateful that I have a large family and I get to spend a lot of time with them. When I watch my children and my grandchildren, I'm filled with joy. I am grateful for a loving husband to share my life with and his children and grandchildren. It amazes me to see how many special and loving relatives are in my life.

My Family in New Orleans in 2015

I'm Thankful for- My friends.  I love all my friends but there is a special bond I share with my artists. We see things in a different way and see things that others do not. Many of my artist’s friends were the 'different' ones, not always encouraged by their families so when we get together and share so many things in common it is a great feeling. We understand why we spend all our conscious time creating art, and some of us even spend our unconscious time creating art.

Friends at my opening celebrating at the National Hotel in 2016

I'm Thankful for- my talent. It's a gift when a person knows what they want to do and they can do it and even make a living at it.  When I come home from my art studio full of paint on my clothes in sometimes A smudge here in there on my face and hands my husband says to me I never saw anybody work so long and so many hours. I always say to him that the time I spend in my studio goes so fast. People go to psychiatrists, to ashrams, they smoke pot, they take drugs, they drink, just to feel the way I feel on any given day when I'm working in my art studio.

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I'm Thankful For The gift of sensitivity. As a young girl, I was criticized by my family for being too sensitive. Looking back at my life I am grateful for my sensitivity. This gift has enabled me to create art that touches people near and far. I am grateful for the ability to look at the world in my own unique way. As I have developed as an artist, so has my eye and sensitivity to subtle beauty.  I not only notice the obvious beauty like are amazing oceans, but I notice the simple things like water droplets as they come to rest on a person making beautiful patterns.

I'm Thankful for- My assistants and employees. I'm so grateful to have the best studio assistants that I've ever had in my entire career as an artist. I call us the A-Team. Has it been said " no man is an island" Having a great team to work with enables me to be a better artist. It's a joy to work in an environment where not only do I like everyone, but everyone likes everyone else in my studio. The talent in my studio is amazing and because of each person’s special gift and the way we work together, my art is the best I’ve ever made.

Feuerman Studio A-Team Annual Birthday Party, 2016

Feuerman Studio in 2017 Wishing All of You a Happy Holiday

I'm Thankful for-  my Art Studios and Art Supplies!  I love them and I need them to create. I'm sure, I have more art supplies than I need and yet every time I see things that I want to buy to make my work look even better I get excited. I have two art studios. One is in midtown Manhattan in the area called Nomad and the other is in Jersey City. I love my studios.  It is very important to have a special place to create.

New York Studio with Crates – Getting Ready to Pack

I'm Thankful for - Galleries, Museums, University Galleries, Art Parks, Cities, Foundations and Public Spaces. I'm grateful to have these things in my life. I visit them and appreciate all they offer. I love the exhibits I see, the interesting people I meet there, and the fact that I have a place to show my art where with broad visibility.

Eight Hundred Woman Artist Get Together At The Brooklyn Museum Stand Together

I'm Thankful For Collectors, Fans and Sponsors.  I approach my art by sculpting the subjects that I love but when a work of mine connects with someone and they are moved to have it in their home or museum, there is no greater feeling of satisfaction. I am grateful for the people who enjoy my work.

I'm Thankful for - Travel. It may seem odd but I love to fly. I can be in one place in the morning and the next day, halfway across the world. This brightens my life. I get to meet all kinds of people. It gives me food for thought and tools to create. I love to try new foods, look at buildings, understand history by walking through it.  looking it. I love being exposed to other cultures. I love the fact that in a few hours I can visit my children across the country. We are lucky to live in the jet age. When one thinks of travel, they also must think of the Internet. The Internet allows us to travel from one culture to another even faster than a plane. It enables me to have fans in every country, even countries I never heard of. It enables me to see the work of artists that I would never be able to travel to in one lifetime.

Getting Comfortable with A Glass of Champagne Before Takeoff

In one day, it will be 2007. Time goes so fast, and I want to make each precious moment count.

I'm Looking Forward to February 2017, thanks to the invitation of the Chashama Foundation, http://www.chashama.org/about/mission-history, and Anita Durst. I'm invited to have a solo lobby exhibition for the re-opening of the gorgeous glass building at 55 Broadway in New York City. I'll be exhibiting 28 sculptures from all phases of my career and showcasing my newest work state of never been seen before. I'm also making several artworks that will sell for under $500 so the public will be able to afford to collect a genuine Feuerman. The time and date will be announced.

I'm Looking Forward to my bucket list wish coming true** On the 11th and the 12th of May, 2017, I’m having two opening parties for my solo show in the outdoor park on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.  You can walk from San Marco or take the vaporetto to the Giardini stop to see the show. I have to thank Global Art Affairs Foundation and the city of Venice who have made this show possible. It will be in conjunction with La Biennale di Venezia – 57th International Art Exhibition.

Park in the Star Where my Solo Show Will be Held in Venice, Italy

I'm Looking Forward to the re-opening of the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, Michigan. I will be having the inaugural solo exhibition for the newly completed galleries in June, 2017. The Executive Director Gene Jenneman to thank for organizing the show. 

Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, Michigan

I'm Looking Forward to the fall of 2017 because I’m planning to have a solo show in an Art Museum in Argentina. This is the very first time I've ever exhibited in South America and I hear Argentina is a special place. More details to come when the exhibition is finalized.

Museo coleccion de arte amalia lacroze de fortabat

I'm Looking Forward to – More than anything else, I pray for our country and the world. My we have peace.

New Media Artform - Thousands leave Post-It Notes as Election Therapy on the NYC Subway Walls Encouraging Shared Thoughts

Before we turn around, it will be December again, but this time it'll be 2017, and I will be showing once again in Miami Art Basel. Since sculptures take so long to make, with each little detail being made from resin or bronze and fabricated to look real, pieces sometimes take up to five years to make. I've already started working on pieces for the future.

As I contemplate what I must look forward to, I am hopeful for my future to be filled with the happiness and my creativity to flourish. I hope to make my best work in 2017.

 

The International Sculpture Park Union welcomes new members from the USA

Carole Feuerman of the Carole A. Feuerman Sculpture Foundation, along with Boston Sculptors Gallery members Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, and Michael Manjarris representing Sculpture for New Orleans, were invited by Gertrud Aeschlimann of Art-St-Urban to attend the Changchun World Sculpture Park Conference held in Changchun China from January 10th to January 12th 2016 and to participate in the first plenary meeting of the International Sculpture Park Union. All four were inducted as new members of the Union.

Carole Feuerman with members of the International Sculpture Park Union

Carole Feuerman with members of the International Sculpture Park Union

The International Sculpture Park Union's objectives are to:

* To promote and facilitate cooperation between the private and public organizations which share common objectives with the association so that they can effectively cooperate in the global, national and regional level to discuss common problems and search for solutions;

* To strengthen the friendly cooperation and mobility between sculpture parks around the world to promote their development;

* To promote the exchange of information;

* To encourage and promote the creation of different studies aimed at improving communication and cooperation between sculpture parks.

Click here to read more about Carole's new role with the International Sculpture Park Union. 


Feuerman Exhibiting Two Monumental Painted Bronzes at Palazzo Mora Nearing the End: The closing of the Venice Biennale

The Palazzo is located directly on the Strada Nuova, in Venice, Cannaregio.

The exhibition can be visited, by free entry, from May 9 until 22 November 2015,

daily 10.00 - 18.00h , Tuesdays closed.

For more information please visit www.palazzomora.org

Every two years, the city of Venice, an island solely linked by canals and bridges, referred to as “The Floating City” becomes inundated with art during the Venice Biennale, a worldly happening that absolutely everyone wants to be seen at, and that every artist wants to be shown at. This year Feuerman is showing two monumental painted bronzes made especially for the event and brought to you by Global Art Affairs.

Be sure to see Carole Feuerman’s Leda and the Swan and DurgaMa before time runs out on November 22nd, also recommended by http://www.slowtraveldiary.com/slow-living/travel-photo-carole-feuerman-venice-biennale/ and http://www.demotix.com/search/media/feuerman

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   Detail:  Leda and the Swan , 2014, Oil on Resin, 42 x 80 x 90 inches.

Detail: Leda and the Swan, 2014, Oil on Resin, 42 x 80 x 90 inches.

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      Leda and the Swan   , 2014, Oil on Resin, 42 x 80 x 90 inches.

Leda and the Swan, 2014, Oil on Resin, 42 x 80 x 90 inches.

During the Renaissance, Venice was the center for commerce and art, and propelled the field of art. Carole’s interest in Classicism and creating idealized forms embodies the artistic ideals of the Renaissance. Representing classical and idealized figures combined with a hyper-realistic style creates a genre that any Renaissance artist would find innovative. Furthermore, the inspiration behind many of Carole’s pieces harken back to Greek mythology. For example, Carole’s Leda and the Swan is based on the myth of Zeus and Leda, where Zeus disguises himself as a swan in order to seduce the beautiful Leda, from which Leda bore Helen of Troy. The Leda and the Swan depiction emerged more prominently as a classicizing theme during the Italian Renaissance, even Leonardo Da Vinci depicted the tale. In Carole’s rendering, a reclining Leda donning a vintage women’s swimsuit and cap relaxes her body against the top of an inflatable swan, forming an elegant curve that begins at the swan’s neck and travels to its tail.

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                                                              DurgaMa   , 2015, Oil on Bronze, 101 x 90 x 91 inches. 

                                                      DurgaMa, 2015, Oil on Bronze, 101 x 90 x 91 inches. 

Conversely, Carole’s DurgaMa derives not from western art but rather explores the tranquility found in eastern traditions. DurgaMa is an ascending beauty that represents the cycles of existence. The lotus reflects a sense of spiritual awakening and rebirth. Similarly, the meditative female Indian that serenely rests atop the flower hang strives to reach contentment and enlightenment. From the stem of the lotus to the top the crown DurgaMa chronicles the soul’s journey from worldly influences and materialization to transcendence and enlightenment. It is a remarkable piece that one should not miss seeing. Over 200,000 people have visited Leda and the Swan and DurgaMa through the summer of 2015. Carole has been exhibiting at the Venice Biennale since 2007 and looks forward to being part of the Venice Biennale in 2017!  Be sure to make a visit to Palazzo Mora to see these captivating sculptures in an ideal setting before the Biennale ends on November 22, 2015.