Duke Oursler Broadway Arcade
All the Above, 2008
At Broadway Arcade, between 11th & 12th St.
My process of making, directly informs my artwork. I am drawn to the visceral and physical connection of construction and assembly as well as performing. Using steel, wood and found objects my recent works have centered on large-scale sculptures that visually challenge rules of the physical world, particularly gravity and balance.
As a young man I was very involved with sports and athletics, especially wrestling and baseball. I found myself drawn to the heighten state of consciousness and awareness that I experienced during physical activity, like hitting a baseball perfectly. Throughout my undergraduate studies performance art allowed me to become physically involved in my artwork in new ways. In an effort to better understand this heighten state of awareness I created various performance pieces that challenged me physically. These performances and installations involved physically strenuous activities such as mixed martial arts and fabricating steel body extensions, which challenged my abilities to move.
Through my experience forging, bending, welding and forming steel I noticed a similar state of alertness. The rigidity of the steel provides a desirable resistance that offers a similar physicality required in baseball and wrestling. The medium of steel allowed me to create geometric forms on a large scale that demonstrate balance, weight, and gravity. The circle is often a primary focal point of many of my sculptures. My use of circles and spheres present the viewer with a visual anchor or frame in which to view many of my works. I strive to create sculptures that are simultaneously stable and precarious to demonstrate tension while remaining harmonious. I attempt to make the composition reflect the fabrication process of the work, which consists of moments of struggle and moments of harmony.