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The Sculpting Of Then And Now

I think there’s a lot of interesting history and specific culture that creates the root of why people sculpt in the modern world.  But for millennia, we’ve often focused on purely the theological aspects and inspirations, which by and large, are still a major factor, if not an obvious aesthetic or physical feature.  The symmetrical aesthetic features of sculpting are nothing unfamiliar to the modern artist, whether you’re a photographer looking for the perfect model or a painter or cartoonist trying to get your eyes and hands to be that perfect proportion, symmetry is always a huge factor.  While we might not see a religious icon’s face in a modern sculptor’s work, we may certainly see certain cues from the old school artists who had a certain way of making the curve of a cheek look good enough to be considered worth of belonging to a deity.

mahakala-hindu-sculpture

I think the name mahakala is very fitting for a statue like this to be in such good condition after hundreds of years don’t you?  (The credit for the photo for this beautiful sculpture goes to bobistraveling via flickr.com).

Isn’t this an imposing looking sculpture of an ancient mahakala (meaning beyond time and/or death in the literal translation).  It is considered to be a physical depiction of an ethereal deity in Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, and is often depicted as having two, or four, or even six arms.  That’s certainly nothing new to those who enjoy studying different religions, take the deity Asura for instance, which is the name for another multi-armed deity in Buddhism and for other demigods in Hinduism (If you’ve ever seen the video game Asura’s Wrath then you can see that even a religion with thousands of years of history has an influence on pop culture today, even if it comes in the form of an over the top action video game that takes most of its thematic inspiration from Japanese anime).

Cartoon Mummy

Now I’m not an expert on carbon dating or well versed in the areas of sculpting in history enough to argue how valuable something is based on its age, but this ancient Egyptian sculpture of a mummy is probably worth more than any amount of money I could ever make in my lifetime!  Credit for this inspiring picture belongs to David Boeke of flickr.com.

With an appreciation for these beautiful sculptures from ages past it’s a great feeling to see how far people have come in the art form.  Well, of course we’ve advanced in more than just our ability to sculpt or build but you get what I mean right?

butler-campus-sculpture

This very modern piece of colorful metal sculpting actually adorns a college campus somewhere, and that’s not half-bad if you ask me, since most modern art looks like nothing but this one has a certain futuristic sci-fi appeal to me.  At any rate, credit for this guy belongs to Jack Pearce.