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…At that moment my life’s direction was set. I was about sculpture.

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About Brian Maughan

Artistic Philosophy and the Sculptural Process

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As a figurative artist, I try to capture the essential character and energy of the subject.

Artistic Philosophy: For me the process of figurative art is to imbue the abstract elements (the stuff we’re really working with: lines, shape, volumes, textures…) with emotional qualities—strength, joy, tenderness, bravado, etc.—that express the character of the subject matter.

When I first began studying the figure and creating figurative art, I realized that we are never really interested in just the figure; what we are interested in when we walk in a room or walk down the street is what the other people are up to.

Our immediate response is to wonder if they are sleepy, angry, withdrawn, open and looking for a conversation, restless with energy, etc. And I believe this is what we are concerned with when we come to art—I know that is what I am concerned with. I believe we are not interested that Rembrandt painted a man whose measurements were just as he depicted; we’re responsive to the character of the man and the character of Rembrandt who painted the work, and the dexterity with which he painted it.

Sculptural Process: My technique for creating large sculptures begins with making sketches, either on paper or in clay, of my general impressions of the finished work. I work in earthenware clay for its tactile qualities, its responsiveness to touch, and its ability to capture emotional expression. I then make more defined models in clay, of which one is chosen to be the model for the final sculpture. The full-scale modeling is again done in clay, over a welded steel armature. I then have flexible rubber molds made, in which the sculpture is cast in wax; I then address any necessary changes.

The complete wax sculpture is invested, most often in pieces, in a high-temperature standing mold. The wax is melted out and the bronze is poured in to recreate the pieces in metal. The pieces are assembled and welded together, then worked back into the final sculpture, which is then colored with an acid patina and waxed or lacquered for preservation.

While my formal education emphasized the strongly held ideas of the 20th century on the individuality of artistic vision, when I do commissioned work I feel that it must reflect both the clients’ and future audiences’ feelings about the subject matter as well as my artistic vision.

Biography: A resident of North Walnut Street in Yellow Springs, Ohio since 2006, Maughan still spends much time working in New York City, where he moved from San Francisco in 1968. He was born in Calgary, Alberta and grew up in the Canadian oil fields until the age of ten. His parents then moved to western Montana. At about the age of 20, Maughan hitchhiked around Europe. In that year, in Florence, Italy, he saw Michelangelo’s David.

“David bowled me over,” he says. “At that moment my life’s direction was set. I was about sculpture.”

Back in the U.S., he attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where he earned a BFA in 1966 and an MFA in 1968. He has since worked in various media, but sculpture has dominated his efforts. In the last 20 years he has worked principally in ceramic. The majority of this output has been cast in bronze.

In 1969 Maughan became Artist-in-Residence at the Studio School in New York City. Since then he has spent his time practicing and teaching sculpture in New York and Virginia.

During the 1990s Maughan spent several years in Charlottesville, Virginia. There he met his future wife and muse, Marie Hertzler. Maughan has two sons, Brook and Anthony, who live in Virginia and New York.

Collections

Resch Center, Green Bay, WI, 2004
President And Mrs. Carter, Plains, GA
Milwaukee Ballpark, WI, 2001
City Center, New York, NY, 2001
Misty Of Chincoteague Memorial, VA
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY 
Sallie Wheeler, Charlottesville, VA
Citicorp, New York And Chicago
Saks Fifth Avenue, New York
A.S.I.D., New York
Gold, Inc., New York
George Bristol, Austin, TX
Lee Kling, Landmark Bankshar Carleton Varney, New York
Dr. And Mrs. Reynolds Cowles, VA 
James Brasher, Atlanta
Dorothy Draper & Co., New York

Exhibitions

“Beasts In The Bathroom” The ChamberPot Gallery, Yellow Springs, Ohio, June 2008-June 2009

“Other Creatures”, Yellow Springs Arts Council “Three Artists”, Sam and Eddie’s Open Books Gallery, Yellow Springs, Ohio

“The Minotaur” at Hypotenuse Gallery Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio

   

Related Work

Sculptural Restoration (bronze, stone, plaster, ceramic)

Sculptural Enlargements (Eric Fischl, Barry Flanagan, Romolo del Deo, Mark Beard, Ailene Fields)

Foundry (mold-making, bronze finishing, patination, welding)

Carpentry (framing, finishing, furniture
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Contact Info

  •  141 North Walnut Street
    Yellow Springs, OH 45387
  •  (937) 767-2058
  •  (937) 509-6659