Herbert George

Narrative Heads

1998-2003

In time I found the narrative possibilities of the still life and its shadows to be vague and ambiguous. Perhaps the portrait head could offer the emotional specifics I was looking for. I wanted to continue utilizing the shadow, but more as a metaphoric/expressive extension of the head. As metaphor or simile, the shadow has a rich history in opera and literature, and I wanted to explore that history.

To accomplish the above, stone is an interesting material. Its solidity and physical presence seem to be the antithesis of flesh and shadow. Each sculpture in this series are portraits of artists. They all began with a found photograph—an image that I felt was particularly insightful as a compelling photo/portrait. The point was not to make a likeness in the normal sense. What I was after was an aura of the individual recalled through the filter of time and revealed by the process of carving.