I am now, and have as long as I can remember been, completely in love with the human figure. There seems
no end to the variations of line, beauty, subtlety and soul in our form. From Giacometti to Jenny Saville, our figure seems the most compelling element of our existence. In my work I try to create not merely physical representations, shells, but rather something greater, something deeper, something stronger. A glimpse both inward toward our core and outward toward our potential. I try to build, without ethnicity, without reference to era, figures that evoke a timeless universal commonality.

From a purely sculptural standpoint my figures’ large hands and feet seem both to ground the work and allow for greater nuance of gesture. I particularly want the clay construction process to be obvious, so I usually build the clay pieces in sections. This may also result from some innate recognition that we as human beings are often both physically and emotionally fragmented.

My walls are much thinner than other large-scale clay figurative artists (Frey, Arneson). I think this is due primarily to my being self-taught. There was never anyone to tell me that I couldn’t possibly build them so thin, and more practically, I really needed to be able to move them in and out of the kiln without requiring the help of four large guys every time. My clay body, which I designed specifically for this larger work, is extremely strong and durable. I have recently enjoyed making several larger scale bronze works. The great pleasure here is that I can build the original works in solid clay (weighing well over a ton), really getting physically into the work and allowing myself greater latitude in form and surface development.

Mavis McClure lives and works in Corrales, New Mexico.

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