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Peter Oakley
North Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2014

The transformation from a utilitarian object into a formal object can take place in many ways. Duchamp transformed objects just by looking at them, and I strongly identify with that. Ultimately I too present found objects as formal objects, but with some major differences.

I revere handcraft. Yes Minimalism, Futurism, etc. radically redefined the formal, and I am obviously on board, but I am also a traditional stone sculptor, and I won't throw aside craft and commitment. I carve stone with my hands using simple tools. We must view classical and Renaissance sculpture through the lenses of modernism and postmodernism, but art history hasn't been annihilated just because we've had a radical century.

Thus a stack of cassette tapes in black marble recalls a subtle contrapposto, an ancient sensuality materializing out of our banal technology. Render a styrofoam takeout box in white marble, for one of our gods it is, at once lovely and capricious.

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