THE ANGEL'S STORY Chapter 11
But why Ballet? Why Dance? Why not Aardvarks? “Well. You see, it’s like this. I can make a very credible Aardvark… A very fine Aardvark! But then, you see, I would then have to find someone else, who is crazy about that Aardvark as am I … and has the money to pay for it. Market research shows, and I am quite certain of this…. that the Aardvark Market is quite limited. However, almost everyone has a mother. Mothers with babies, kids, ballet, and female nudes…. Now that is the real fine art market for sculpture! It always has been. There is no doubt about it. It has always been that way … it seems, forever.
From the start, I was captivated by the rhythms and movements of life and quite naturally, the challenge and goal of my sculpture would be, to gift each bronze with an independent life, implied movements and imagined souls. Why I was so hooked to this art form? I don’t know. The best explanation is because it was fun! Anything that moved was fascinating to me. Sports figures, Dancers, Animals, Flowers, and Trees even the Stars. You name it.
But most especially, when I was short, I was in love with Ponies. I loved the way they moved. I loved what they looked like. I loved how t
hey smelled, what they ate, their fears, their emotions and how they communicated with each other. I became quite proficient in their language and could speak “Pony” quite well. I loved everything about them… Their winter coats … their summer coats and how it felt to the touch them. Daily my hands would cover every inch of their splendid bodies, tracing the shapes and forms to make sure everything was as it should be. Then we would chew oats and lick salt blocks together. In short, we bonded. So much so, that when Daddy took Easy and me to visit the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, and I spied the magnificent Centaur on the ceiling. Well…. that image immediately changed my life as a 8 year old, and too, my childhood dreams. Dreams in which I imagined myself as the mother of several little Centaurs, following close behind. Is this possible? Of course it is. Absolutely! I knew nothing about sex, let alone the word itself, but that did not matter, because in a child’s imagination…all things are possible! Observation, careful observation is the key. Pony love and Pony care: The brushing and cleaning, riding and feeding would eventually become the best of teachers.
Ponies like Aardvarks however, have a very limited market … The interest is there but it is limited not only in the numbers of sculptures one can sell, but also by the price caps imposed on the bronze sculpture by the Sport’s Art Market… Deservedly or not, it is a reality that artists must deal with. (However, and make note of this: N.B. There are no price caps in fine art! )
It is possible however, to earn a living when sculpting horses but only if one can get into, one of the three specific circuits of the horse world. These are the Societies for Registered Arabians; Thoroughbreds on the flat track and the Western Cutting Horses. All three of these special categories, syndicate their stallions and sometimes their mares, for breeding. One of the perks of syndication is for each investor to receive a small bronze copy of the horse in which they have invested. In this way, a sculptor can sell twenty, thirty or perhaps fifty castings all at once and hope to make a little bit of profit.
Individual portraits are fine but they cost so much to produce in time and dollars that at the end of the commission, there is nothing left over and then, worst of all for the artist, nobody wants a portrait of someone else’s horse! They only want a portrait of their own horse! Working this way, the artist cannot sell more than one or possibly two bronze castings. This is also true for historical figures and war memorials, although there are some who have been able to sell small editions of their larger works. In order to get on board with one of these groups, the artists must be free to travel on the Horse Show Circuit, Racing and Rodeo circuits, in order to meet and schmooze with the owners of these horses. With two children in tow, the subject of horses, or historical figures was out of the question. The other subjects from which, one could hope to produce a living were those of the classics: Mothers; Babies; Kids; Ballet and Female Nudes. I chose dance.