Curtain Call 2020
PLEASE Visit the MK Sculpture Gallery
2020 was all about the people. People who shared losses, pain, and frustration. Martin Kagan’s current exhibit, “Curtain Call 2020”, calls to mind the mosaic of faces and personalities that 2020 touched. People who each have a powerful story behind that fleeting look into your eyes.
About the Artist
Oregon-based artist and an artistic alchemist, Martin Kagan, is a self-taught sculptor who creates outside the traditional canon of art, reintroducing the ancient form of terra cotta to create life-size busts. Finding inspiration in the uniqueness of human faces, his statues are often adorned with found pieces of jewelry, fabric, and hats, further inviting an imaginative approach to character studies.
A native of South Africa, Kagan credits his early interest in sculpting to making small basic statues with his friends using window putty. With limited access to clay, he broke a few windows to feed his hobby. After becoming successful in business, he began collecting African statues which continue to inspire his art.
With the onset of the pandemic, Kagan took up sculpting as a means of connecting to the uniqueness of human expression and offering break-through views showcasing the exuberance of life. The pieces are born out of a desire to use visual images to communicate and transcend basic object viewing. Kagan enjoys the challenge of repurposing items and drawing upon his love of conceptual engineering to fabricate unique structures for his statues. Visit the MK Sculpture Gallery for a glimpse at the art and the artist. Listing of 2020 Scluptures .http://www.hexograms.com/gallery-one-2020/
Kagan’s appreciation for the visual world is also showcased in his patented 3D data visualizations over time viewed at B4URIZ
About the Process
ABOUT THE PROCESS
Martin Kagan’s creative process has continued to evolve over the course of creating 70 plus statues. His most current sculptures typically start with a structural base, often a lamp or metal support to secure the developing bust. Support elements (steel rods with standard connectors) are added to support the eventual free-standing sculpture. From the base rods, an inner core chamber, often employing a glass vase or bottle, is created offering added strength for the head and neck contour and to determine the dimensions of the final sculpture. Fortified and shaped cardboard is then used to create a facial
contour over the glass upon which quarter inch or thicker slabs of certified non-toxic Laguna Mexo Red Self Hardening Modeling Clay is layered and added to form the hair, cheekbones, and eyes.
Working quickly over the course of a day, Kagan uses his hands and tools to manipulate the clay, creating one of-a-kind facial features. Scoring any connecting pieces achieves a lasting bond for additional clay layered on for added dimensionality and human characteristics. Teeth and eyes are positioned to enhance each statue.
Kagan anticipates and carefully monitors the roughly 5% shrinkage for each statue during both the creation and drying stage. Made from a non-fire self-hardening clay, the statue air dries thoroughly within a week and then is enhanced with unique hair styles
and decorated with paint and found treasures including vintage jewelry, hats, scarves etc. curated specifically to create a one-of-a-kind sculpture.
Intended for indoor use only, the statue should be displayed in a safe area to minimize accidents as, like any ceramic piece, the sculpture could break if accidently dropped.
Each piece is signed by the artist and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.