2003 was one of those turning points in life. I was freed of the need to produce work for the commercial illustration sector and from this point on I would have the luxury of working only on projects I wish to pursue for myself. After many years of honing an array skills in painting and drawing media, I was ready to once again push off into the void. Thus my foray into three dimensional expression and lots of new stuff to learn.
Inspired by the 19th century Nichos of New Mexico and the roadside shrines for accident victims I saw while traveling in Greece, I began a series of shrines that explore the themes of contemporary American worship, and those core experiences of life that shape who we have become as human beings.
I hand build the boxes that house my shrines in much the same way the village carpenters built them in Mexico 200 years ago. Each box holds a collection of objects found and life experienced in an arrangement guided by some internal poetry.
Sometime in 2005 I began to also build free standing pieces that were no longer constrained by the box environment. This was the transition to small sculpture working with a 2 part epoxy clay over various armature materials. Molds are made of the original sculpts and then are cast in resin or soft vinyl editions which are hand painted as unique pieces or in small editions of 5 or less.
The pieces usually begin with small rough concept sketches as a jumping off point.
The themes of my work run the gamut from allegorical to sociopolitical.
In 2014 I began working in bronze and on large scale pieces in fiberglass and epoxy clay.
Stop by Main Street Arts to see three of Bob Conge’s sculptures in our current exhibition, Small Works 2015. View more of his artwork at www.bobconge.com
View Bob’s previous blog post: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Bob Conge: Part One