The Art of the Figure
by David Fin
Carole A. Feuerman is a Super Realist who sculpts the human figure in plaster, then makes a resin of the plaster, and paints the resin to look real. It is this resin casting that is chased and detailed to finally become the work of art. She paints the surface lifelike by adding veins, sun spots, freckles, and individually rooted hairs. These fragmented sculptures are based on experiences that are familiar to her—in a physical and emotional sense.
Her earliest works dealt with erotic themes. The use of the fragment in these works shows her interest in having the viewer complete’ the picture and also her interest in suspended motion coupled with the ability to create a “frozen’ moment. The focus is close and sharp. Eleanor Munro says “the fragmenting, deconstructive program, from cubism to surrealism has been a theme of the twentieth century in art, and Feuerman’s plan to make “fine art” out of the human body deconstructed to its sexual impulse was in line with the times.” Body parts entwine in a minimalist display of human passion in her work.
The procedure or producing each sculpture is quite complex and time consuming and one work of art can take up to six months to complete. It begins with casting the figure in plaster. Live models are posed in her studio to tell a story. Many times she will sculpt most of the art and only cast the hands and face. The sculpture does not have real clothing and accessories added. Feuerman sculpts the clothing and paints it to look real. Through intense observation and attention to detail, she goes back to the model in the studio to observe and paint the skin tones. By inviting the models to pose for her, the activity of looking at the human flesh is translated into the sensation, weight, and texture of human skin.
David Finn, who photographed Feuerman’s work for the coffee table book by Hudson Hills Press, wrote “the work is more than just illusions of reality. The artist has captured instants of time in the lives of her subjects that seemed to have a deeper meaning – a love of life in its sheer physicality. They were, to be sure, erotic moments, but the poses and the positions, even the texture of their skin, gave them a quality of universality that I found to be unusually touching.”