Hillel O'Leary is a sculptor and designer living and working in the northeastern United States. His work draws from rigorous personal philosophies, and the desire to be an ever-present student of the world around him.
Sculpture, at its best, is three-dimensional philosophy. The rigor of one’s creative practice must be distilled from the convictions of ones principles and ideals. The time and patience taken with the careful crafting of an object or experience should reflect the commitment of the artist to creating something tha… Read More
Sculpture, at its best, is three-dimensional philosophy. The rigor of one’s creative practice must be distilled from the convictions of ones principles and ideals. The time and patience taken with the careful crafting of an object or experience should reflect the commitment of the artist to creating something that exists as their own personal and novel interpretation of the world around them. This interpretation must be made in a language that is both easily understood, and inviting of deeper exploration. It is only then that thought and execution are one, and it is only then that a crafted object can become more than a simple amalgamation of parts and principles. It becomes a symbol. It becomes a lens through which we may view ourselves, and the world around us. The practice of sculpture should be built on a foundation of learning, and through sharing this ability to create such symbols.
My work deals in the preservation of scars, the celebration of history, and the wisdom gained through transformation and growth. The processes of cutting, tearing, breaking, and building are my physical manifestations of the internal workings that spur our thoughts, and shape our actions. These creations are both my communication and my catharsis. Every mark left by a blade, every scratch, every crack, every joint, every screw, splinter, and bolt is a token to be considered; a word in a language that is to be deciphered, interpreted, and explored. This interpretation should be realized in such a way that its basis; it’s raw identity, is presented in a language which is understood by the viewer. Its deeper meanings, though, should be allowed to be more nebulous…A wide orbit around a fine point. This allows for an individual to own each steel structure or carved wooden form as his or her own. It transforms a sculpture into a story that relates to one’s own life. This is a leap of faith for me that exists in the service of breaking through my own barriers to reach out across the unknown in order to find meaning and resonance with others.
In this process of reaching out, I wish to show the commonality of these symbols; these brief captured moments within the vastness of time. They are treatises on our individual places in the world, on our relationships with others, and on that which lies just beyond our reach, and beyond our knowledge. They are a grasping for sense in my own life, and in the enormous cycle of growth, death, and rebirth in which we all play a part. They are my striving to learn, to grow, and to reach out. They are my hard-fought lessons. They are my pain, my hope, and my struggle. They represent the structures that we build and tear down within ourselves and within our lives, and they are composed of the things we have built, and the things that we have destroyed.
In my work, I hope to capture moments within our struggle, and in our tension with the universe. I wish to ask that we take time to gain new perspective, and new reverence for our singular cross-section of time; building upon the lessons we have learned. I do this not only in order to understand my life, and my world, but also to try to find commonality and purpose in the power of shared experience. This shared experience
Is most alive when it is the result of a rigorous practice on the part of the artist. A commitment to dedicated study of art, and of the world, is crucial to the development of a well-informed notion of that which surrounds us. Read Less