Featured Artist Dan Woodard

Artist Dan Woodard’s expressive figurative sculptures connect with the viewer through shared experience and emotion. See more of his portfolio by visiting his website.

 

figurative clay sculpture by Dan Woodard

“Dream of a Spontaneous Utterance” clay with a rusted iron coating, fishhooks and wood base, 16.5” x 20” x 16”

 

The sculptures I’m showcasing in this feature are from my “Heads and Hands” series.

 

bronze figurative sculpture by Dan Woodard

“Anguished Man in Flight” bronze with a stone base, 12.5” x 11” x 14.5”

 

I have always been fascinated by the expressive quality of faces and hands. I’m furthermore intrigued by the amount of emotion and depth that is conveyed by a seemingly blank expression on a person’s face.

 

figurative clay sculpture by Dan Woodard

“Thoughtful Man” clay with a rusted iron coating and wood base, 17” x 20” x 13.5”

 

No matter how little one imagines they are sharing their inner selves—their joy, anguish, fear, puzzlement, resignation, and a myriad of other possibilities are, unbeknownst to them, usually apparent. In my portraiture, I have attempted to capture the emotions that lie beyond a stoic countenance. This series also often incorporates disembodied hands to further highlight my subject’s underlying psychological state. These sculptures are generally titled only by a description, so the viewer is not forced into any preconception.

 

figurative clay sculpture by Dan Woodard

“Man with Hand in Front of Face” clay with a rusted iron coating, 17.5” x 14” x 13”

 

I began sculpting about thirteen years ago as I eased into retirement after a successful career as a script writer and director of film and video. The transition to sculpture was a fortuitous one. I’ve always been a creative person who was never happy unless I was making something.

 

figurative clay and bronze sculpture by Dan Woodard

“Tara” clay, bronze leaf with cement base, 11” x 10.5” x 7.5”

 

As a young man I designed and built my own home entirely by hand and lived a sustainable, organic lifestyle in rural Massachusetts. During this time, I also worked as a fine art photographer with shows in New York, Boston and other East Coast cities. I wrote feature articles for magazines and exhibited my stained glass and ceramic work at art shows throughout New England. In my late thirties, I moved west to attend grad school at Stanford where I obtained an MFA in film.

 

figurative clay sculpture by Dan Woodard

“Man with Hand at Throat” clay with a rusted iron coating, 16.5” x 21” x 10.5”

 

After many years as a filmmaker, I began channeling my creative energies into my love of sculpture.

 

figurative clay sculpture by Dan Woodard

“Pranayama” clay and shellac, 16” x 16.5” x 13”

 

In doing so, I drew from my own subconscious and my interest in the worlds of archetypes, myths and rituals to create both abstract and figurative pieces. The majority of my work arises from my memory, my imagination, my inner world and the spontaneous interaction with a variety of materials.

 

figurative clay sculpture by Dan Woodard

“Bearded Man” clay with a rusted iron coating with a rebar and cement base, 16” x 6” x 8”

 

My work has been described as elegant, yet also earthy and powerful. My psychological and emotional state while I’m working are also strongly reflected in my sculptures. Some of my pieces express a calm, almost beatific sensibility; others display extreme disturbance and anguish.

 

figurative clay sculpture by Dan Woodard

“Woman Brushing Teeth” clay with a bronze coating, acrylic paint and a cement base, 18.5” x 19.5” x 17.5”

 

My goal is to convey an emotion and a connection that transcend time and culture to bring artist and viewer into a shared inner space. I want the viewer to feel a sense of familiarity with the work; a sense of knowing, of understanding.

 

clay figurative sculpture by Dan Woodard

“Man with Hands by Face” clay with a rusted iron coating, 17” x 20” x 13.5”

 

I believe this sense of déjà vu arises from a collective unconscious that is shared by all of us.

Artist Dan Woodard invites you to follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

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