On the 15th May 2014, Hay Hill Gallery will be hosting a Meet The Artist evening for renowned sculptor Richard Minns.
Using legendary figures to inspire his anatomically perfect sculptures, the artist cites the Classical Greeks and Roman Old Masters as source of inspiration, considering Michelangelo Buonarroti to have set the standard of excellence. Today, Minns has summoned his phenomenal skills as a sculptor to interpret Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged novel, as well as familiar figures from biblical stories and classic Greek mythology.
The evening will be an exclusive chance to see Minns’ new sculpture Jacob And The Angel before it is displayed at the Westbury Hotel this summer. Rich with symbolism, this sculpture depicts Jacob and the mysterious ‘man of God’ locked in combat. Equal in strength, they wrestle until morning when Jacob finally receives the blessing he desires. The Jacob that entered into the wrestling match was a manipulator, a ruthless con-artist, on his way to see his brother Esau whom he cheated out of his birthright. However, he leaves the scene with a limp and becomes known as ‘Israel’, the perseverer or overcomer. This is a powerful portrayal of man’s inner struggle between relying on earthly strength and putting your trusting in God. Seen from different angles, the two figures in the sculpture appear to move around each other- and at one point are both completely obscured by the angel’s wing. This striking bronze illustrates the difficult idea that real character growth is down to struggle and pain.
The Atlas Shrugged quadrilogy is an iconic sculptural series based on the book of the same name, cast in bronze with a classic rich patination. Atlas is seen tearing apart the World of Collectivism that had formerly pinned him down, and creating a new golden world. Every muscle is taut with an electrifying undercurrent of pure anger, and turning the sculpture around on its highly polished steel base you can see every last inch of Minns’ mastery of anatomy reflected there. Interpreting Atlas as one who is finally unable to bear the weight of the world and its freeloaders, Minns’ sculpture is an important social comment. He challenges us to exert our individual force, shatter the state of total collectivism and live freely. This struggle of individualism versus collectivism is not a political ideal but concerns a man’s soul. The idea mirrors Ayn Rand’s beliefs that the individual is of supreme value, the “fountainhead” of creativity, and that selfishness, properly understood as ethical egoism, is a virtue.
In Richard’s capable hands, clay, wax, wood, bronze and marble are transformed into manifestations of the human condition. He sculpts legends of great inner and outer strength, from Diana and Pygmalion to Sampson and David. This artist has a great understanding of the possibilities of the male and female nude and the detailed spectacle of muscles in motion. From head to toe, every inch of Richard’s sculptures contains the total spectrum of human emotion. His work combines 21st century techniques with the anatomical precision of the Renaissance Old Masters and the expressionistic movement of French Impressionism. Truly three-dimensional, these works must be viewed with 360º careful scrutiny.
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