Onyx V. CrimbilFinding my MUSE & MODUS

As a child I was the artistic one…constantly drawing, painting or crafting: usually in service of my elaborate fantasies. My fascination and resonance with the fantastic and ancient human cultures, religions and mythos can be traced from early on, where my overwhelming sense of being “other” and my interests led me along solitary paths largely untrammeled by my age peers. I devoured my mother’s Art History books, pouring over the pictures for hours, and even as a small child my life-long romance with the male form was evident in my adoration of the works of Michelangelo, classical Greek & Roman sculptors, and other Renaissance, Baroque & Rococo artists.

Although I took a few art classes along the way to feed my interest, I largely found them uninteresting and unchallenging or actively discouraging, and as a result set my own pace and followed the curriculum of passion. Somewhere in my mid-teens I stumbled onto oil-based clay supported by metal armature, and a revelation!  Three-dimensional art is AWESOME!

Time to GROW-UP?

By the end of college I had produced a handful of pieces and had the wonderful opportunity to cast two of them. Thank you Lee West Studios & Western Sculpting Supply for giving a naïve kid the most amazing, informative and encouraging hands-on introduction to bronze casting I can imagine!  But I allowed the encroaching realities of young adulthood, fiscal responsibility & societal pressure to convince me to be a good corporate citizen, instead of a “starving artist.”

So, I proceeded to work for other people for the next 20 years. I tried to keep my sculpture going, but the pressures & stresses of corporate existence steadily smothered it until it was nothing more than a smoldering ember.  All along the way, though, I kept feeding my pool of inspiration with artists of all stripes, enraptured by a wide range of historical artistic styles that ranged from ancient & classical through modern fantasy and comic book illustration, taking inspiration from wherever the muse spoke to me.

Time for a CHANGE!

Flash forward to 2013, where tension with a challenging employer, a visit to Richard MacDonald’s Gallery in Las Vegas and an alignment of the stars lead to another revelation – It’s time to purse my sculpting! So, leaving my job, I embarked on an exciting and fulfilling second career; since then several of the ideas for sculptures that had been squatting in my subconscious for decades have burst forth into reality, and the ideas & inspirations keep flowing. I feel deeply blessed by this opportunity to bring my ideas and work to light, and think my life experience over those past 20-odd years has only helped add a maturity, personality and depth to my work.

The drive to CREATE!

Needs are different from desires. Our needs are elementary, primary, vitally necessary… but we desire civilization, art, literature, to adorn ourselves, and to beautify our surroundings. This is why the artistic/creative spirit is vitally important to me – as, I believe, it is important for all of us who are civilized – because our mission as humans is to fulfill our primary needs, making room and freeing energy to nurture those higher desires that feed not only our bodies but more importantly our souls, and our minds.

A balancing of these higher goals is what set the ground for the ancients to give birth to philosophy, geometry, comedy, tragedy, democracy, architecture, sculpture, etc. In all of these fields we still find examples of the highest beauty achievable by humankind, and they are the unchanged building blocks of our current civilizations. I don’t think much has changed in our desires over the millennia, and human nature is basically the same as it always has been… only that, generally, people today live less spiritually, and tend to lose their connection to the world outside of the expression of their primary needs.

As a queer man and Radical Faerie lucky enough to be born, raised, and come-out into a post-Stonewall America, I embrace the idea that there is something innately valuable, unique, and positive about queer sexuality and identity. In some of my work I seek to expand the notion of what is wholesome and normalize the marginal by placing the taboo squarely before the viewer – erasing shame and celebrating desire as an extension of the panoply of healthy human passion, affection and sexuality.  A keen observer of the male body, in both an aesthetic and erotic sense, I have developed a sense for portraying masculinity that moves beyond simply capturing beauty to, I hope, imbuing personality and depth of spirit.

Anyone who appreciates my work quickly grasps that spirituality, myth & magic play a large role in my personal artistic cosmology. It is probably comes as no great shock then, to learn that I am driven by a deep and intensely personal connection to Spirit, which embraces a sacred continuum that ranges from introspective stillness through brooding darkness all the way to wild and exuberant mirth. I find deep resonance in the immanence, immediacy and carnality of Paganism; its personalities, stories and archetypes that have resonated down through the ages often touch upon emotions and connections that the dominant transcendental spiritual paths of the modern world seem to miss.

I am just a craftsman in an ANCIENT ART-FORM.

Sculpture is an ancient art-form; the lost wax casting process has hardly changed over the course of the past couple thousand years and it is a truism accepted by many that most everything has been depicted before over the course of those millennia – when you take a step back from the creative process, you start to notice that everything is connected. By using my powers of observation, my personal style, and life-experience as a prism of perception and synergizing different sources of inspiration with my own passion for creation, I hope to bring a fresh perspective to these venerable materials and memes. My goal is to strike a chord in the viewer – to spark flashes of rapport and shared-understanding that encourage you to pause… to look and to see in a new way. It is my hope that my work touches something within you, feeds your desire, and evokes a sense of connection to something larger and more encompassing…