Separated Together by Ben Pierce

Artist Statement

My work has been a reflection of an internal search to discover who I am and how I fit into the world.  I attempt to create Ideas and feelings utilizinggeometric design and non representational shapes.   How do you communicate a feeling or memory in a sculpture? This is a question I try to answer visually. 

Specifically in this work the idea of “the gap” is present- this idea represents a distance I felt after serving 4 years in the military and returning home to feel like I didn’t belong.


PIECE SPECIFICATIONS:

10’H x 5’W x 2’D

CREATION DATE:

2010

click photos to enlarge


TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A SCULPTOR. WHEN DID YOU START SCULPTING? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHTS?

I began making sculpture after returning home from the military. I began school pursuing my BFA and it was late 2009 or early 2010 when I actually began to create my own work that was not just a project for class. I have been featured in 573 magazine and in Missouri Life. I currently have a sculpture on display in Oak Park Chicago and I sold my first sculpture (large scale) this year.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO SCULPTURE?

I was attracted to sculpture because it’s building something- my dad is a 3rd generation bricklayer and I grew up watching him.  Instead of houses it is metal sculpture.

WHERE DID THE INSPIRATION FOR THIS SELECTED PIECE DERIVE?

The idea of negative space has been a huge factor in all of my  work even to this day. The idea of two pieces that look like they belong together but don’t fit- this comes from my own experience returning home from the military and feeling like I didn’t belong.

TELL US ABOUT THE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH CRAFTING THIS PIECE.

Well, this is one of my first sculptures and I was still learning how to work efficiently. This sculpture took much longer than it would have if I had made it now.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO COMPLETE THIS PIECE?

I didn’t work on it full time, but it took almost a month maybe a little longer to complete all the welding and grinding.

HOW DO YOU WANT THE SCULPTURE GARDEN AUDIENCE TO LOOK AT YOUR WORK?

Any way they choose. The idea that they will be taking the time to look at it is great. The best view is through the gap between the two halves. Intentionally so, the view otherwise is less interesting- this way the audience is almost forced to view through the two halves which is how I intended it to be viewed.

WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE THE AUDIENCE TAKES AWAY FROM YOUR PIECE?

Any opinion good or bad is a good thing for art. This means I made the viewer feel something.  The Sculpture is about isolation and feeling ostracized – but it also has a positive side. Through my time working on this sculpture and talking about it, it was  very cathartic for me and helped me get over some things.

WHAT OTHER ARTISTS INSPIRE YOU?

Richard Serra and David Smith

WHY DO YOU DO THE WORK YOU DO?

Working with metal is hard work especially at this scale and larger. It becomes meditative for me- I lose myself into the work and the feeling of accomplishment after completing a large scale piece can’t be duplicated.