Inspired by the classic shapes and themes of ancient history, artist Richard Laurenzi creates terracotta sculpture to capture the imagination. See more of his portfolio on his website.
My work as a sculptor is inspired by antiquity and explores and pays homage to the art of the ancient world as seen through my own lens.
My ceramic work in particular is inspired by prototypes found in the pottery of early Mediterranean cultures, especially those of early Greek and Etruscan models. I have studied the simplicity and abstract beauty of such artifacts and the repertory of shapes and themes found in both the useful objects and figurines of those cultures. Often I will combine forms found in both genres. As an example, a figurine embodied as an amphora vessel.
Following the practice of ancient craftsmen, I use terracotta earthenware as the clay body. As a material, the sensuousness and pliability of the wet clay worked with the fingers lends itself perfectly and naturally to the modeling of the cursive and rounded shapes so characteristic of early pottery.
Sometimes, I will apply patinas that are multi-layered, or those that give the appearance of the bronze artifacts of the period.
In my work, it is the largeness of an idea that always predominates over actual dimension. Although my work is small in size, I strive to conjure images that are large ideas.
Always in my mind’s eye is the monumentality of such Paleolithic figurines as the Venus of Willendorf. At the same time, I also know that these images I have made would also translate quite powerfully when enlarged.
Professionally, I have done large sculptural projects for both stage and screen.
As a visual artist, I see myself as part of a continuum. I am someone who enjoys exploring the repertory of subjects that have been portrayed in art over and over again.
Then I reinvent them, coming up with images that are representative of the vernacular and at same time, newly fresh and iconic and that resonate at all levels.
Richard Laurenzi invites you to also view his mixed media artwork.