I didn't realize until about halfway through making this piece that the posture I chose for the bear -- standing, head forward, with slumped shoulders -- is really similar to the posture I chose for a small plaster sculpture I made all way back in the early 1990's when I was living in Carbondale, Illinois. That posture, in turn, was based on the painting "Male Model" by Henry Matisse, which was the cover image on my copy of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. According to my notes in the jacket, I read that book in 1992 and 1996. I carried my little plaster man sculpture around with me for years, unfinished, until one holiday spent alone in Ann Arbor (Christmas-New Year's 2008? 2009?) I went to work. I built him a set of wings from the odds and ends I had sitting around -- worn out clothes, tin cans, old screws, umbrella parts. I poured what was left of the enamel model paints I had over his shoulders.
Anyway, this creature is now living in my driveway until further notice. I have no idea how ArtFields makes their decisions, but I'm hoping my lack of enthusiasm for delving into the meaning of the meaning of the piece in my entry doesn't hurt my chances of getting in. Ultimately, in my opinion, good art is about feeling something deep in your heart and in your bones (whether you're the creator or the audience). If I need to explain to you how the piece is supposed to make you feel, I didn't make good art. And if I can explain to you what the piece makes me feel, I didn't dig deep enough.