JAVIER ASTORGA--Artworks for Sale. BIDDINGTON'S SCULPTURE GALLERY--More Sculpture in Various Media.
JAVIER ASTORGACREATIVE PROCESS visits the Xochimilco (Mexico City) studio
of metal sculptor Javier Astorga.
Javier ASTORGA: My recent series of small and medium-scale sculptures entitled "La Huasteca desnudo del tiempo (The Huastecs Removed from Time)" was inspired by sculpture, masks and motifs of the Huastecs--a pre-Hispanic people from the eastern gulf side of Mexico. Seeing these ancient works seemed to breathe new life into my own sculpture--and I decided that I wanted to reinterpret them, not as static pieces, but as works suffused with life and motion.
Javier ASTORGA: My art is deeply committed to the search for the expressive capability of the sculptural material. Ideas from both the ancient Huastecas and the skilled contemporary Huasteca craftsmen have nourished my sculptural development. In my sculpture entitled "The Teenager", my point of departure was a Huastec stone sculpture that archeologists have named "The Adolescent".
Huasteca Stone Sculpture called
Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City
Javier ASTORGA: My drawings and paintings on paper represent the early stages of the process of making my sculpture. As the drawings develop, I begin to see where the cuts in the metal will need to be made.
JAVIER ASTORGA Painting Study on Paper for
Javier ASTORGA: The sculpture is an organism; I try to transform the material in a way that I can identify myself with it.
JAVIER ASTORGA with Metal Sculpture
64" high (without base), 2002
Javier ASTORGA: Each day a procession "The Walk of the Niñopa" goes down my street complete with fully costumed celebrants and fireworks. I often watch it from my terrace: This Niñopa is a small-size wooden sculpture carved by a Spanish craftsman around 1570 to commemorate the first Xochimilca who was baptized right after the conquest of the tribes by the Spaniards. (Xochimilcas are the tribal group that inhabited this area of the city, fully covered by nearly 200 miles of water channels, much of which still exists today.)
Procession "The Walk of the Niñopa"
Javier ASTORGA: After hearing the mass celebrated specifically offered for him daily, the Niñopa leaves the cathedral, and people escort the sacred boy to his home while dancing and setting off fireworks in a joyful celebration. This celebration goes back in time as far as the "Cantares de Gestas", Catholic celebrations offered in Spain to commemorate the recovery of territories formerly conquered by Arabs in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Javier ASTORGA: I collected some of the spent rockets from the procession and included them in this sculpture: "Como una pirotecnia nos iremos apagando". As part of the "Haustecas" series, it is a metaphor for a culture that flourished, then was extinguished. Like nearly all my works, this mixed-media sculpture creates a strong sense of movement. People often remark that I draw in space--with a lot of freedom and motion.
Javier ASTORGA: My personal and artistic heritage is Mexican and European. I owe much to Picasso--and I'm happy to say so. In his work, Picasso suggested many, many ideas that have yet to be explored. I also admire Julio Gonzalez. In his sculpture, Gonzalez achieves expression and movement. To me, sculpture is meant to be about movement.
JAVIER ASTORGA Sculpture "La Guadalupana"
Welded & Polished Iron, 17.75" high, 2001
Studio View with
JAVIER ASTORGA Sculpture "Mictlantecuhtli"
Polished Steel with Cow Skull, 31.5" high, 2003
Javier ASTORGA: I first went to China in 2001 for the International City Sculpture Symposium in Changchun. The Chinese government is making a major commitment to contemporary art in presenting large scale contemporary sculpture in public venues by sculptors from many countries. In 2001, we made this large face "Song of Springtime".
JAVIER ASTORGA with Sculpture "Song of Springtime"
Bent 2 inch Iron Plates, Welded & Rusted with Natural Oxidation
12 feet high, Changchun, China
Javier ASTORGA: In 2002, the International City Sculpture Exhibition and Symposium in Beijing chose my work "Horse of the Wind" to be fabricated as a large scale sculpture. This piece is an early steel sketch for the horse.
Javier ASTORGA: This more developed sculpture is the specific maquette chosen to be made as a monumental scale sculpture in Beijing. Both the selection committee and people on the street voted for my work. I am proud that my sculpture has popular appeal.
JAVIER ASTORGA with "Small-Scale Maquette for of
Horse of the Wind"
Javier ASTORGA: Before becoming a sculptor, I studied to be an architect. When building a model, the architect imagines himself reduced to the scale of that tiny structure. I find this technique very useful when I am enlarging a piece of sculpture. I visualize myself in scale to the re-sized piece. It's very important to think of how a person physically relates to the piece to increase the size properly.
Javier ASTORGA: Over a three-month period, with a crew of eight workers, we made this piece from solid 2-inch steel. Making a large-scale piece from enduring materials is extremely important to me. If it were hollow-cast, it would look like something from a stage set. The force employed to bend the steel and the difficulty in making the sculpture is reflected in the finished work. Idea and material combine to give the sculpture power and presence.
JAVIER ASTORGA Monumental Sculpture
"Horse of the Wind "
Bent 2 inch Iron Plates, Welded with Natural Oxidation
13 feet high x 17 feet long, Beijing, China 2002
Javier ASTORGA: For a sculpture symposium in Norway in 2002, I decided to develop this earlier small piece I had made from junk metal and found objects called "The King of Trash". For the project, a source in Norway made available to me large--usually prohibitively expensive--pieces of scrap stainless steel.
JAVIER ASTORGA Sculpture
"El rey de basura (The King of Trash) "
Gears, Industrial Trash, Painted & Oxidized
28 inches high,
Javier ASTORGA: As a study for the large work I made this model in cardboard. For a private commission, this is how I present an idea to the client; it gives a sense of the projected piece without requiring great time and expense.
Cardboard Maquette for Norway Sculpture Project
Javier ASTORGA: The Norway project resulted in this monumental-scale sculpture in polished stainless steel. Appropriate to the elegant material, we shortened the title to: "The King".
Stainless Steel Sculpture
"El Rey (The King)"
17 feet high, 2002
View sculpture by Javier Astorga offered for sale in
Biddington's Contemporary Art Gallery.
Price range: $1250 to $6500
Born 1964 in Mexico City, Javier Astorga graduated in architecture from Universidad Ibeoramericana in 1988 (with the highest point average in his class). He studied architectonic shape analysis and perception theories with Buz Yudell and Ricardo Legorreta at UCLA. He also studied with architects Francisco Serrano, José Creixell and Enrique Norten. In universities in Mexico and abroad, Javier Astorga has lectured about urban sculpture and the analysis of context on sculptural creation, as well as the relation between sciences and arts.
Selected Recent Solo Exhibitions:
2003 "Hausteca desnudo del tiempo", Instituto de Investigaciones Dr.José Maria Luis Mora, Mexico City.
2001 "Javier Astorga", Centre Cultural Fundacio Caixa Terassa; Barcelona, Spain.
2001 "Ensembles of Desire", Universidad de las Americas, Mexico City.
2000 "Nezahualcoyotl, The Age of Flowers", Traveling Exhibition, Valence, France.
1999 "Urban Images", Hall of Exhibitions Library Francisco Javier Clavijero, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City.
1998 "A Piece of the City", Gallery Estela Shapiro, Mexico City.
1997 "Sculpture and Industrial Design", House of Furnishing & Architecture MIKASA, Mexico City.
1995 "The Trade of the Senses", Twelve Years of Sculpture by Javier Astorga. House of Culture José Manzo, City of Puebla, Mexico.
1992 "Urban Images and Our Perception", Poliforum Cultural Siqueiros, Mexico City.
Selected Group Exhibitions:
2001-2002 "20 Artists at Institute Mora", 20th anniversary of the Institute of Researches Dr.José Maria Luis Mora, Mexico City.
2000 "Visual Artists from Mexico", Traveling Exhibition, Hall of Exhibitions World Trade Center; Poliforum Cultural Siqueiros. Mexico City.
1997 "8 Mexican Artists", House of Furnishing and Architecture, MIKASA. Mexico City.
1996 "Mexican Artists", Retrospective; National Center of Arts & Crafts, Paris France.
1992 "First Biennale of Painting and Sculpture", Monterrey, Mexico.
Selected Monumental Sculpture Commissions in Public & Corporate Collections:
"Bolivia 23-30, The Andean Cross"
Monumental Steel Sculpture, 2004
4 x 5 x 2.5 meters
Simposio El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia
2004 "Bolivia 23-30 The Andean Cross", Simposio El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia
2002 "Horse of the Wind", International City Sculpture Exhibition and Symposium, Beijing 2002, China.
2002 "The King" City Sculpture Symposium "Melting Pot 18-8", Jorpeland, Norway.
2001 "Song of Springtime", International Sculpture Symposium, Changchun World Sculpture Park, China.
1993 "The Serial Woman", Coca Cola Company, Mexico City.
ABOUT THIS FEATURE
CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auction--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.
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BIDDINGTON'S CREATIVE PROCESS Archives:
Sigmund Abeles Expressive Realist Painter
Javier Astorga Figurative Metal Sculpture
Nancy Azara Sculptor
Tova Beck-Friedman Sculptor & Mixed-Media Artist
Todd Bellanca Abstract Painter
Carol Bruns Bronze Figurative Sculptor
James Burnett Non-Objective Painter
Cynthia Capriata Peruvian Painter & Printmaker
Catalina Chervin Argentine Surrealist Artist
Diane Churchill Expressionist Painter
John Clem Clarke Pop Artist
Guillermo Cuello Contemporary Argentine Painter
Lisa Dinhofer Illusionist Painter
Michael Eastman Faux-Primitive Painter
Lynne Frehm New York Abstract Painter
Betsey Garand Minimalist Painter & Fine Art Printmaker
Mary Teresa Giancoli Personal Documentary Photographer
Debora Gilbert-Ryan New Image Painter
Janet Goldner African-Influenced Steel Sculpture
Harry Gordon Monumental Sculpture
Patricia Hansen Portrait and Still Life Painter
Richard Heinrich Welded Steel Sculpture
Charles Hewitt Painter & Monotype Printmaker
Diane Holland Intermedia Collage Artist
GH Hovagimyan Pop/Conceptual Artist
LA Hughes Pop Artist
Frances Jetter Bronze Sculptor & Editorial Illustrator
Scott Kahn Fantasy Painter
Susan Kaprov Digital Printmaker and Abstract Painter
Babette Katz Narrative Printmaker and Book Artist
Aurelio Macchi Argentine Master Sculptor
Richard Mock Abstract Painter & Linocut Printmaker
Bill Murphy Contemporary Realist Painter
Jim Napierala Abstract Painter
Frances Pellegrini New York City & Fashion Photographer
Eolo Pons Argentine Master Painter
Joseph Reeder Cross Media Artist Paintings & Ceramics
Laura Shechter Contemporary Realist Painter
Annemarie Slipper Figurative Ceramic Sculpture
Gary Slipper Fantasy Painter
Margaret Speer Landscape & Travel Paintings
Serena Tallarigo Marble Sculptor
Rein Triefeldt Kinetic Sculpture
Vivian Tsao Painter of Light
Nancy Van Deren Contemporary Painter
Joan Berg Victor Drawings from Nature
Edward Walsh Figurative Sculpture in Bronze, Marble & Steel
Kate Wattson Contemporary Colorist Painter
Betty Winkler Organic Minimalist Painter & Printmaker
Background Articles on 20th Century Argentine Painting:
Lino Enea Spilimbergo
Eolo Pons--On Technique
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