Marvin Armstrong: Artist Statement

Sculpture

My work as an architect has been restrictive in many ways regarding design expression, my work as a sculptor has not; through sculpture, I am able to explore unbounded design far beyond the flat planes of conventional architectural construction.

In architectural design, the building must be completely thought out prior to any construction.  In working with clay and wood, it is liberating to design and construct all at once.  Hand-built sculpture allows for spontaneous design; the sculpture becomes as much an expression of my hands as it does my mind. I start with a general idea of where the design is to go, and then the material suggests what it wants to be.

I’ve always been drawn to curvilinear forms in nature. My work tends to reflect the logic of something that has grown into itself from the encoding of its own DNA.  As in biology, I want the design to continue throughout the work, so that it is complete and correct from all sides.  As in nature, part of the beauty is a tactile sense from holding an object:  a water worn pebble, a shell, a pet, another person.   I want my work to be as attractive to the hand as it is to the eye.

In architecture, the interior and exterior of a building are inseparable. My hope is to build ever larger pieces of art that can be walked into and around.  My goal is not a space with art in it, but a space that is art.

Marvin Armstrong
February 2012

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