mixed media sculpture
In Greek mythology, Nike was a goddess who personified triumph. Nike and her siblings were all attendants of Zeus. According to myth, Styx brought them to Zeus when the god was assembling allies for the coming Titan War. Nike assumed the role of the god's personal charioteer, a role often portrayed in classical art.
Nike's wings supposedly symbolized the fleeting nature of victory.
This piece was also inspired by a sculptural portrait of Nike which appears in the Louvre museum: "Winged Victory".
What I enjoy most about making art from found objects is the moment of recognition... the "a-ha" moment of coming across a piece of metal or fabric and recognizing that it is not just an umbrella... but a flowing gown. And, not just a flowing gown, but the gown of a goddess.
This piece began with a charred piece of driftwood, which you can't see, which forms the base at the center of the sculpture. I found it walking along the beach and thought it looked like a person standing upright. The top of that wood is what you see as her chest. And, so she began. Her gown is an old umbrella, with her shoulders and neck made from old fixtures that I've found on walks over the years. (I do my part to keep NYC streets clean!) The base is the top of an old copper tea kettle.
Next came the face and doll part, which I thought both gave her dignity... a sense of being strong and composed. Then came the wings. That was new for me. On one of my regular junk shop runs, I was approached by the proprietor about a taxidermy bird.
Ordinarily, I would not have shown any interest, and in truth, I had no interest. Then she said the bird had been sitting on this shelf for over 7 years, and that it was much older than that. She was ready to just throw it away. Then something clicked and I took a good luck at it. In truth, it was beautiful.
But there was more than its beauty that struck me. Its usefulness has passed. Seven years. No one wanted it. A-ha. I took it, turned it around in my hands, and said (mostly to the bird) "so, how would you like to be a goddess?"
The response was this sculpture.
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