That secret lair of creativity…

An artist’s studio should be a small space because small rooms discipline the mind and large ones distract it.  Those are the words of Leonardo da Vinci.

For ten years, the photographer Gautier Deblonde photographed workshops of the most famous artists of our time– his portfolio Atelier. Most of these liars of creativity aren’t small spaces, though.

This is one of them —  the studio of  Sir Antony Gormley, OBE, a British sculptor. His work space in London is a converted warehouse north of King’s Cross station.
Antony Gormley

(1) The works from the series Blockworks, having been created between 2003 and 2009. All the sculptures in this series are made of the same shape blocks in four sizes: each successive element is eight times the size of the previous one.

(2) Sculpture from the series Feeling Material. According to Gormley, it was created as an attempt to “describe the space of the body with the help of the matrix formed by the rings.”

Even if you do not know the specifics of Gormley’s creativity, it is  obvious that the artist working here is a person preoccupied with the dynamics of transformation of the human body, all that is connected with its dynamics. Iron as a main material of  Gromley’s sculptures might as well  be replaced by some entirely different substance, but most Gromley’s “men” were  made of clay replica of the artist’s own body.

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Joseph Backstein, director of the  Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow (ICA Moscow) once visited Anthony Gromley in his studio when the atist was, quite literally, hard at work, his entire body  covered with in clay.  In the course of the ensued conversation, Backstein recalls, clay on Anthony’s body gradually solidified and, in the end, the only animated part of Sir Anthony was his mouth, his lips moving.

(4) Figure of Man in the left corner of the Deblonde’s photo, is an example of the most common manifestations of Gormley’s artwork. The artist likes to place such sculptures in different urban spaces: on rooftops, on the windows, at the edge of the sea — simply google his works and see them perched in most unusual places.

His best known works include the Angel of the North, a public sculpture in Gateshead in the North of England, commissioned in 1994 and erected in February 1998, Another Place on Crosby Beach near Liverpool, and Event Horizon, a multi-part site installation which premiered in London in 2007, around Madison Square in New York City, in 2010 and in São Paulo, in 2012, says Wikipedia.


The sculptor Antony Gormley in his London studio with two of his works. Credit Hazel Thompson for The New York Times.

Actually, this large space on  Deblonde‘s photograph is only a small part of the sprawling lair.   Anthony Gormley– no surprise here — had long became an enterprise. His house has several floors with offices, workshops and laboratories. A huge number of assistants and workers are engaged in casting and creating models every day. Sir Anthony  is said to be very involved in the everyday activities of his staff, but he is no longer particularly hands on — or, rather, clay on — artist, like the hardening under the layer of clay self he was during Mr. Backstein’s visit.


Mueck At Work

Ron Mueck98

London-based sculptor Ron Mueck, formerly a model maker and puppeteer for children’s television and films, has been creating fine art sculptures since 1996. Using resin, fiberglass, silicone, and many other materials, Mueck constructs hyperrealistic likenesses of human beings, while playing with scale. The detailed sculptures are captivating when viewed up close, as they may be many times larger or smaller than expected. (Atlantic.)

I’m fascinated by Ron Mueck’s  artwork — see my Hyperventilating Over Hyperrealism post from 2 years ago.

Ever the best photographs of Ron Mueck at work in his liar of creativity were created by Gautier Deblonde.  French by birth and upbringing, Gautier Deblonde works in London as a photographer since 1991.

He photographed the active process for Ron Mueck’s sculpture Boy for the Millennium Dome in London. Published by the Anthony d’Offay Gallery, this series of photographs won a World Press Award in 2001.Boy

Here is more of Ron Mueck by Gautier Deblonde.

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