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sculptor since 1976, Easton works intuitively, selecting materials
for their inherent qualities and form and working guided by the dynamic
interaction of his tools and materials.
Self-taught, he carves stone ranging in size from six inches to four
feet, and from 5 to 500 pounds. He works in Italian marble, American
and Italian alabaster, and, less frequently, American soapstone, walnut,
redwood, and driftwood from the Pacific Ocean.
A 1989 sculpture intensive in Carrrara, Italy, exposed Easton directly
to cultures where the tradition of statuary lives vitally. Working
alongside other international artists and artisans, he followed in
the tradition of sculptors from Roman and Renaissance times, producing
a substantial body of work from Carrara marbles.
“I carve statues from single blocks of stone. I start with a piece
of material that interests me for its color, shape, and intrinsic
qualities. I may have a general conception of a form or at least a
gesture, or, more usually, I may have no preconception. I then enter
into an intimate dialogue with the stone, removing material here,
shaping it there, until I have a sense of an ‘entity’ evolving from
the stone. To me, this ‘entity’ may be inanimate, like a book, or
it may be like a being dwelling in some universe of the subconscious,
with some kind of life and history embodied in it. The sculpture ceases
to be a block of stone and exhibits a personality, just as a book
is more than paper and covers, and when we become even more familiar
with it, it ceases to be a book and becomes Moby Dick.
“People looking at my work for the first time often ask me what it
is, what it means, what it means to me. While I spend a lot of time
working on the pieces, and between working even more time thinking
about them, I try not to assess and define them in logical terms.
Rather I try to view them as formal compositions where the elements
relate to each other and contribute to the whole. The resulting unity
may be completely non-objective or may be a recognizable abstraction,
but what determines its success, to me, is a quality of ‘rightness’
that should shine forth: the piece should be able to stand by itself
and be believable.
“What I try to do when I am sculpting is to use my true inner self,
my psychology, spirit, and animal existence, to create objects that
speak to the universal in us. To take solid, natural matter and re-form
it so that the result has the formal validity of a tree or a human
body, but is a new thing in the universe, a thing that speaks to our
minds and spirits and emotions; that speaks, perhaps, about the more
lasting, more important matters of life. That is a large burden to
place upon a piece of rock, and sometimes I just settle for something
nice-looking and comfortable, something nice to have around. At best,
though, I aspire to images that centuries from now will still move
humans and will make them wonder about who made them and what their
life was like.”
In 1968 he received a B.A. in Chemistry from La Salle College in Philadelphia,
and in 1970 he received an M.A. in English Literature from the University
of Oregon in Eugene.
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