Stone is an excellent medium because it has so many wonderful qualities to use in order to evoke emotion. Its color and outline can set the mood, the texture and shapes can tap into the visceral nature of our tactile sense, its opacity and shadows can tickle our eyesight, the sharp angles or smooth lines can communicate anxiety or tranquility, the layers and types of minerals can add infinite depth, the monochrome or multiple colors can illustrate flamboyancy – the list is endless. In my work I try to use all characteristics of a particular stone to communicate a particular feeling. I carve from the inside out, utilizing shapes not commonly seen in stone. The juxtaposition of the hard, cold, unforgiving nature of stone and the seemingly smooth, soft, fluid result opens the door to interpretation of the other qualities. My favorite tools are my hands, brain, intuition, hammer and chisels. I also draw from my formal training and practice as a physical therapist to pass onto my artwork the feel of the thousands of human bodies I have touched over the years. A sculpture is not done until it feels right to the touch of my hand.
My recent fascination has been with the process of preservation of matter. Everything around us is recycled star material. The atoms and molecules simply recombine over time to form one object or another. When we pass, our physical beings get recycled by the earth and its resident flora and fauna, which in turn get recycled by the same global recycling system we call the Universe. This transformation, a metamorphosis, which results in no change in net matter, is the subject of my current artistic exploration. Stone is one of the most permanent objects around that I can think of, and yet it will also be recycled in time. I am the facilitator of this transformation for some of the earth’s most permanent material. In the process I hope to release that screaming feeling trapped in stone by time and forces of nature. I live to sculpt.
- Boris Litvinov