Hero body 2006-2007
Sandstone 27 x 31 x 40 cm
This sculpture underwent a number of changes before I finally arrived at this finished piece. Initially I wanted to carve a superhero-type figure using a non-heroic pose, I thought there was something of interest in the distortion of masculine values and stereotypes that are expressed in superhero comic characters. So whilst embarking on the carving I was thinking of the iconography of superheroes and children's toy figures but also the stone carvings of the past which immortalized their 'superheroes' which were generally religious figures such as saints.
I did experiment with painting it as I went along but found that it was not entirely successful as I did want to keep the stony qualities to link it to religious sculpture of the past. Painting stone does bring out the surface textures but it also detracts from the fact that the sculpture is stone (a heavy, natural material). Although this piece of sandstone was poor quality and unspectacular in colour and texture, it still has an intrinsic stony-ness.
It did have a head for most of the time I was carving it, but I decided it looked more interesting without one (just a hole for a pop-on head). This linked it more to the kind of Games Workshop figure toys where body parts can be bought separately. I also thought the lack of a head, along with the missing weapon, emphasized the pathetic, powerless qualities of the figure.