The Quicksilver Mine Co.
© Sonoma's Own
A BALANCE OF FORCES
New Work by John de Marchi
September 19—October 26, 2008
"My sculpture combines art, mechanical technology, and the human condition. The materials, machine tools, and process I use display the patterns and textures of industrial surfaces, which I feel, are very beautiful. I am also concerned with the formal aesthetic interrelationships of the elements of my sculpture. The sculptures are typically metaphors of our humanness, and I often draw inspiration from personal experiences or social and political events.
My work is also part of the age-old tradition of the artist-engineer (creators of art and mechanical devices), in the tradition of the Renaissance artist such as Leonardo, Brunelleschi, and Alberti who often saw the world in terms of a "Clockwork Universe". In part I am recording and documenting our mechanical heritage, one that has been part of our lives for thousands of years. The advent of microelectronics is quickly making obsolete many machines, processes, and skills, and there are profound changes occurring. We are unable to see electrons at work, but we can easily see and understand the workings of the simple mechanical movements, which I use in my sculptures. I use mechanisms metaphorically to explore the human condition in the spirit of the "Clockwork Universe" with its roots going back to the philosophers of ancient Greece and Egypt and beyond.
A basic theme in my sculptures and a fundamental concern or issue in my art is the concept of Balance. Webster's definition of balance can be equally applied to an object, a sculpture or to the human condition:
BALANCE suggest a steadiness that results when all parts are properly adjusted to each other, when no one part or constituting force outweighs or is out of proportion to another.
For me the sculptural concept is manifested in a balance of forces. These forces can be physical, psychological, metaphysical or spiritual in nature, and they all allude to a variety of aspects of the human condition. My sculptures use mechanical models as metaphors to explore the philosophical nature of our humanity and our perpetual quest for balance. Other words, which evoke similar concerns in my art, are: Equilibrium, Symmetry, Equality, Harmony, Serenity, and Poise. I believe that these are states of being that many of us aspire to, in a considered and well-lived life. I also believe that these words and their meanings help create beauty, and I endeavor always to imbue my sculptures with beauty in an aesthetic, formal and spiritual sense."
—John A. de Marchi