Stephen Fitz-Gerald

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Figurative Sculpture

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the artist

It's not an easy path to choose to become a sculptor. I feel fortunate to have discovered my life's work at the relatively early age of 25. Since that time I have been wholly committed to my art. I gave up the idea of fame and fortune long ago and it has allowed me to relax and create the best work I am capable of without these annoying temporal distractions. I'm in it for the long haul and I'm now just beginning to reap some of the benefits of these difficult early decisions. It is my belief that by concentrating all of my energies on producing a work that is for me a truth first, that is, a work that is from my heart and soul unmitigated by what is popular or in vogue at a certain time, this will more likely than anything win me a notoriety I can live and grow with.

I have lived a very full, enriched, and exciting life with a variety of pleasurable and painful traumas both emotional and physical. These events have shaped me, they have made me who I am, but no matter how extreme, good or bad, I have always known deep inside that this is the very rich raw material on which I may forever draw for subject matter in my art.

the philosophy

As for myself, I am an idealist, however my idealism is tempered by intellect and pragmatism. I always strive for perfection even though most often it is unattainable. The forms I deal with are derived from life, the sea and our natural environment. For a work to be successful, it must satisfy a suggestible aesthetic, that is, its inherent beauty must be a tease, a taste, a morsel that provokes one to interact, investigate, and otherwise engage in a personal dialogue with the piece. My sculptures are for me "exercises in restraint", offering just enough to embrace the notion of refinement; clean lines with an uncluttered view, simplicity of statement, celebration of beauty and quality craftsmanship. I reflect the world around me in my art and comment on the subjective experience in a three dimensional format. These works are the salient features of my perceptions.

I have been called a "sensualist" and indeed my designs do involve the senses but there is more than seduction here. There exists a personal integrity which unifies my work and illustrates a style which though eclectic is a natural evolution from the post-war "organic" sculptures of Henry Moore, who influenced my father, through his own realizations in "amorphic shapes" to my own developments utilizing stainless steel and modern methods of construction and technology. That thread of "organic" in my work is still evident and will remain so. I delight in using a somewhat cold, static material such as steel or stainless steel to fashion a warm, enticing, amorphous shape that compels the viewer to realize that the magic is not in the material of the piece but in the hand that created it. This is modern alchemy and a true inspiration to my art.

the work

My figurative works, though stylized and utilizing high-tech materials and construction techniques, retain an ancient flavor which I attribute to an early exposure in childhood to the Greek sculptures of antiquity. My compositions, gestures and postures may be modern but the concept and license for innovative technique has been earned by studying the masters both modern and ancient. Here I must include the sometimes heavy handed instruction of my father and master sculptor Clark B. Fitz-Gerald of Castine, Maine. He taught me how to pursue a line of truth in beauty, to exploit and explore materials, to elevate craftsmanship and to recognize the spirituality of what I do and how I do it in order to project it into my work.

The world of space and form is a realm that I have dwelt in since early childhood. Both my parents were artists and they involved me in their work on a regular basis. My father built everything in the house; furniture, fixtures, lamps, utensils, silverware, bowls, not to mention sculpture and paintings. My mother made fabric wall hangings and enlisted my aid in drawing images for her embroidery and appliqu├ęs. With this rich creative environment to foster my own innate talents, I was able to grow unencumbered artistically and absorb through osmosis the foundations in composition, three-dimensional form, shadow and light, drawing, painting, jewelry, carving, fundamental metal forming and welding. The training in these skills was a part of my everyday life and I simply accepted it. I did not know that I was training to become a sculptor, I just thought my parents were helping me to get my ideas out.