Michael Poast is a renowned sculptor with works placed all over the United States. On Sept. 21, 2016, he will proudly unveil his work "Baroque Trajectory," which is scheduled to be exhibited at a plaza outside the Fitten Arts Center in downtown Hamilton, Ohio (Cincinnati area). The dedication ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 6pm, and Michael will be on hand to speak at the event as a guest of honor. Recently, he spoke to AXS about the process of working on this sculpture and events forthcoming:
AXS: What inspired you to create this unusually-shaped sculpture?
Michael Poast (MP): Cut pieces of steel channel were available in my studio. I recognized the energized formal quality of these shapes with a zig-zag pattern, something I've always gravitated to is cut serrated angles. The pieces were similar in thickness, and fit together almost as neatly as a puzzle. The challenge was using all these disparate shapes and sizes and finding the right combination to create a dynamic form.
AXS: How did you decide on these colors?
MP: Brilliant color related to my use of color as a notation system for music, I call Color Music. This sculpture was used as a music score and instrument at Trinity Place in Lower Manhattan, in 2001. As I "played" the sculpture, using steel rods and hammers, I revealed the connection of the colors on the surface of the piece with the sound of the vibrating steel. This occurred during a memorial event for the victims of September 11 and the dedication of my sculpture.
AXS: What was the process of building it like? How long did it take?
MP: Baroque Trajectory took about a year to construct and weld together, and paint. The painting process is very challenging. Color effects space. Sometimes I had to adjust the color, or repaint an entire section of the sculpture to obtain the correct relationship of the colors with the shape of the whole piece. Form, color, and space have to work together.
AXS: Are you working on anything else at the moment?
MP: Currently I am building steel sculptures that are approximately 8 feet high and 2-3 feet wide. These pieces are steel, made from various sizes such as I-beams, tubes, angles and off cuts from other pieces. My work process, and these sculptures, incorporates "finding" the right existing piece of steel from the materials I already have in my studio. By adding subtracting and modifying these "found" pieces I compose the final form. I will be showing seven pieces of this size at the "Windows on Main Street" on Roosevelt Island, NY, in October, 2016. I also have a large steel piece I have been working on for over a year now. It is much bigger and seems to be getting bigger as I work on it. Sometimes a certain piece could take years to complete, simply because there is no deadline to install it at the moment and I can take my time developing the composition.
AXS: Do you have any forthcoming events?
MP: I have two major sculpture installations happening this fall. Baroque Trajectory was installed in downtown Hamilton, Ohio just a couple weeks ago. I will be featured artist and guest speaker at an event organized by Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, City of Sculpture and the Fitten Arts Center, in Hamilton on Wednesday, September 21, at 6 PM. On Roosevelt Island, New York City, my sculpture "Saecula Saeculorum" will be installed on the 1st Plinth, Church Plaza Sculpture Project, in October. The event is sponsored by Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. Interestingly, this project was inspired by the 4th Plinth in London. In London's Trafalgar Square there has always been one plinth that did not have a heroic bronze sculpture on it depicting a major battle or war hero. The artists of London and the mayor got together to sponsor an artist to display a work for a year on this 4th plinth. It has become an international competition to show in this high profile place. Roosevelt Island hopes this 1st Plinth Project will inspire the New York art community and become a major place to show sculpture and welcome the public to come and experience art.
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