July 20, 2006
Fitzgerald-- Many artists want to start their creations with flawless media, with just the right canvas, stone or wood. But one artist goes against the grain, preferring less than perfect materials.
When most people try to escape the heat, Randy Anthony hammers out another creation. "I like being out with nature and being outside," says Randy, as he chisels the bark of a piece of black walnut.
Randy has a mystery to solve. "I know Michelangelo said, 'It's in there all you had to do is find it,"' says Randy.
He could make a thousand objects out of the wood, but Randy wants to reveal a hidden work, so he becomes a detective. "In many ways, yeah," says Randy.
Rarely, if ever, does he have to buy a piece of high quality wood because people will give it to him. They don't want it to go to waste. "Hey, how you doing," says Randy as a couple enters the Colony City Art Gallery located at the corner of Pine and Grant Streets in Fitzgerald where he has a one-man show titled "Sticks, Stones and Bones."
Immediately the couple goes directly to the show's centerpiece of women carved from wood. Randy prefers women, setting them free artistically. "It's the grace and beauty in the women that I carve," says Randy as visitors gather around him to hear his explanations of his work.
Randy likes incorporating the wind. "I like working with the wind. The wind is actually blowing on the outside of her cloth. The whole piece designed around this little whip," says Randy, explaining why the woman's curly hair is pushed forward and her coat blowing out in front.
Then, he incorporated the wood's flaws in the woman's cape. "Half of this is worm holes. The other half I mirrored, says Randy about the woman's cape that looks rather worn and tattered. Another part of the wood was struck by lightening. "Killed that limb," says Randy about a discolored piece of wood that makes the woman's left arm.
A close look reveals a split in the wood caused by the bolt, and a discolored area, "The more damage it has, usually the more color you get," says Randy. Her arm looks much darker than her shoulder because of the lightening hit.
In Randy's world a tree limb becomes a human limb. "One thing leads to another and it starts flowing together," says Randy. "Who would think that of a log?" says Berthell Wardlow who visited the show. "You don't notice the bottom part because you are so interested in the top part."
Randy takes pleasure in creating curly hair for his women. He uses one piece of wood for each creation, finding two gentle faces, and a third face, a bigger face that seemed as an after-thought in his Angel Hair creation. He created a lion family with a male, female and a cub out of one piece of wood. The lion looks as if he is winking, but Randy explains that he has it closed because the lioness's tail occasionally hits his eye when she swats flies. Randy prefers working with less than perfect wood.
In Randy's eyes, the wood, with all its flaws and blemishes, could teach people tolerance. "I think we're too busy looking at their flaws on the outside of a person to actually see the beauty on the inside of a person," says Randy. Which poses the question: Does art imitate life? "It may be the other way around," says Randy with a laugh.
The flaws in his wood become artistic assets, and if a person can't see the art, it's their own fault. Anchor Tag: Randy Anthony has a show at the Colony City Art Gallery in Fitzgerald through Friday, July 28th. Take a look at his works by visiting: www.randyanthony.com.