Beriah Wall, Man Digs

“An artist who persists in his folly shall be wise.”  William Blake

In the 1970s coming of age as a young sculptor, the work garnering most of the attention was large heroically sized monumental achievements; like Christo, Mark DiSuvero , Robert Smithson, Richard Serra. I realized I didn’t have the wherewithal to compete on that level.

No one was expressing themselves with figures. I decided that was the path to follow. I did several courses at the New York Academy of Art. What resulted was a number of life-sized figures built of plaster on steel bones. There were 8 sculptures (life sized) of kneeling men which I imagined as a frieze for the parapet of the Pentagon.  Sadly this was in the days of Ronald Reagan, and my proposal received little support. Man Digs was an offshoot of my figure studies at the time. Note the not rectangular pedestal. All hail Anthony Caro.

This sculpture has been in storage for 35 years. The 8 life size figures went into a dumpster in 1984. I didn’t have the space or the budget to store them. Artistically, I moved on to adding pigments to the plaster walls I built. This developed into a paying artistic venture and led to my current interest in painting pictures. I have worked variously in pottery, sculpture and painting in Vermont and New York City. Presently I am meditating on a hillside in Shaftsbury.