Gambel’s Quail SK8. Bronze.
Rolling Covey: A covey of nine Gambel’s quail in bronze with the monumental adult buck and hen each on roller skates with seven chicks stacked in pairs on their backs.
Skating to Fly: An additional buck quail on a skate with a single chick rolls through the opposite end of the park.
The concept is simple: Quail alight on an old steel skate and it rolls along with some ensuing high-jinx. How the quail will be rendered was another concern- should they be realistic, stylized, gestural? So many possible directions... I decided to pursue a direction loosely inspired by Henri Rousseau. His work is often called Primitive or Naive, and this relates to his great attention to surface with little regard to mastery of accurate physiology. In Rousseau's case, this was how he worked and he didn't see a difference between his work and, say, a Dutch still-life, making him a popular art-foil for the Modernists. The trick in utilizing this approach as a choice is to let go of a certain kind of grown-up knowledge and allow a certain obsessive blindness to operate. Humoring the argument between the two poles of art making allows a benevolent humor to seamlessly inform the viewer experience while obscuring the inverted intent of the artist. In a nutshell: rather than falling into the trap of accurately illustrating for Realism (the bane of all things Bronze), I obtusely illustrated for a different idea of "Quaily". I sculpted every single feather and all the major texture variations of the various feather groups of a Quail- but the form of the bird is the mind's meaning of a bird, rather than an accurate illustration. In this manner the work was alive for me while creating it in a way that remains playful, humorous, and approachable for all ages.
All facets of production and installation were completed in-house by myself, save for rough-casting and patina. See the process stay here on the site under Studio Art and scroll down to Making Of: Gambel's Quail