I am so inspired yet filled with middle of the night, “what’s the future” art dread. I think that deep down I knew that I was unconsciously moving on when I let my Agency Access subscription of client contacts lapse. I never really even used the list to any extent for years but it was something symbolic that I knew was there and it gave me comfort that I could call on it if I needed to connect.
I have had a nice career in Illustration at times with lots of success but simultaneously sprinkled with lots of failure and most often in the same week or month. This art roller coaster has been my life and my families and it is what I know and what we grew up together with. Since 2000 I have been straddling Illustration, galleries and education with flashes of marginal success bouncing around between all of them like a pinball machine. I purposely designed my career to service everything and at all times but after 30 years in the trenches maybe something has and should give? You always hear about illustrators and graphic designers moving into fine art but this really wasn’t my plan. I love illustration and every step of the process from start to finish but I haven’t been commissioned to do a commercial project in months.
I think that it was the call that I received yesterday from a new gallery that has pushed me to spill my guts and my plan. I am also the guy who jumps the gun so… I may not be done yet! :)
With all of that said, here is the design and the 1/2"=1' scale maquette for my first outdoor steel fabricated sculpture commission. I am now in a crash course learning about materials including plasma cutting, welding, chopping, grinding and ultimately site transportation and concrete pedestal installation. The final sculpture will be 9 feet tall and it has a Bay Area installation date of June 2015. Before our final construction I will be making a full scale cardboard model to be used as a template for all of my steel plasma cutting. The faces in the maquette will change a bit under client approval and the giant neck/stem and other details that are designed into the sketch will be worked out on the final full scale model.
I would also like to announce my next solo show will be at the fabulous TEW Galleries in Atlanta. My work has found a nice home at TEW Galleries and I have been working really hard on a body of new work for the March 6th 2015 opening.
February 27 - March 27 2015
This post is really about my new sculpture commission that is pushing me into new territory with material challenges and fabrication technology that will be learned as I go for it and I am honesty in complete artistic joy and the clients have been a dream to work with. I feel very lucky and appreciative of what is happening right now with my work and I hope that eventually it will rub off to my sleep.
Richard Downs | The Family
Corten Steel | 108" x 46" x 36" | Completion June 2015
Maquette for, “The Family”
silver spray paint
ink jet prints
All images | Richard Downs © 2015