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Alan LeQuire - About Portraiture

I love the contrast that exists when an object comes alive. An inanimate material such as clay, bronze, or stone suddenly seems to wake up and have its own life. This paradox, the living object, is the central mystery of sculpture and what inspires me to create each new work.

Portrait making is the purest and the most direct experience of the living object. Capturing a likeness is always a magical moment, as the personality of the sitter moves into the material and enlivens it.

The painted portrait is a wonderful thing, but a sculpted portrait can withstand the vagaries of time. We all know Nefertiti of Egypt because of the beautiful bust carved in stone. Besides being more durable, a 3-dimensional sculpture can also create a more complex, richer impression of a person.

I enjoy experimenting with surface texture. Texture is one of many tools that I employ to enliven sculpture. The texture should be a natural result of the technique used in handling the material.

I have been sculpting portraits for over thirty years, and I like to keep my portraits intimate while emanating a living presence. I continue to try new approaches to the portrait bust to make it contemporary, fresh and arresting.