Stephen Fitz-Gerald

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Gallery: figurative sculpture

Reflection (self portrait)

This is a seminal piece for me as it constitutes my first self portrait in sculpture. It was made 15 years ago from welded industrial scrap punch parts. Lifesize. It is one of the first in a series of figurative sculptures I created utilizing a process I've engineered starting with thin shell molds (body molds). In the final analysis the result is a figure with EXACTLY the same dimensions as the living model.
The piece remained headless for a year,and I knew it was day I made a face mold using the plaster wrap technique and a mirror so I could see where to put the strips on my face. After the mold had set for 24 hours I built the reinforcement and began to build the face bit by bit from the inside out. When I finished the head I welded it to the body,and a most unusual thing happened.There I was looking at an exact representation of myself in steel. I'm not sure I can convey the feeling but it was like meeting your twin on the street. There was an almost palpable energy vibrating back and forth from me to the piece and from the piece to me. It was one of the strangest sensations I've ever felt,but because of it it gave me a sort of new gracious compassion for all my foibles ,past mistakes,guilt and self inflicted criticism sustained over the years.The sculpture symbolized me in form but somehow by making this representation these internalized aspects were taken from within me and externalized and in so doing released.... I believe cathexis is the psychological term.

Reflection (self portrait)